Max Josef von Pettenkofer

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Max Josef von Pettenkofer


German physician who was a public health reformer and a founder of modern hygiene. Pettenkofer served as the first Professor of Hygiene at Munich. Although he was particularly interested in the origin of infectious diseases, he did not accept the germ theory of disease. Pettenkofer believed that poisonous miasmata (bad airs) in combination with polluted ground water spread infectious diseases. Therefore, he promoted the implementation of modern water and sewage systems as effective means of fighting epidemic diseases.

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