Miasma theory  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The miasma theory (also called the miasmatic theory) held that diseases such as cholera, chlamydia or the Black Death were caused by a miasma (ancient Greek: "pollution"), a noxious form of "bad air" (with the same meaning like in malaria).

The notion of miasma not only appeared in the western world, but also in the eastern world, where it had a similar concept in the early history, especially in China. The influence of miasma in the West and the East had a few similarities and differences, and the solutions dealing with miasma also varied. Finally, after years of debate, the miasma theory had been displaced by the germ theory of disease.

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