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Infectious disease control in the Ionian Islands during the British Protection (1815–1864)
  1. Costas Tsiamis1,
  2. E Thalassinou2,
  3. E Poulakou-Rebelakou1,
  4. D Anogiatis-Pelé3 and
  5. A Hatzakis2
  1. 1Department of History of Medicine, Athens Medical School, University of Athens, Athens, Greece
  2. 2Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics, Athens Medical School, University of Athens, Athens, Greece
  3. 3Department of Historical Demography, Faculty of History, Ionian University of Corfu, Corfu, Greece
  1. Correspondence to Dr Costas Tsiamis, Department of History of Medicine, Medical School, Athens University, M. Asias 75, Athens 115-27, Greece; ctsiamis{at}


This review presents the medical and social role of British military doctors in the formation of the British sanitary campaign in the Ionian Islands during the period 1815–1864. They were the core of a health system based on the old sanitary model of the Venetian Republic, which was the former ruler of the region. The British innovation and reorganisation of the old lazarettos (a quarantine system for maritime travellers), the new marine sanitary procedures, the determination of quarantine duration for major infectious diseases along with the introduction of the vaccination system resulted in a satisfactory defence against epidemics in Greece during the 19th century. The British military physicians applied and established West European medical ideas, as well as the principles of preventive medicine, for the first time in the Greek territory and this is a historical example of a successful sanitary campaign based on the experience of military physicians and their collaboration with civilian physicians.

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Public Health

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