In the first half of the nineteenth century, the environmentalist paradigm dominated medical debate. In Brazil, it engendered the construction of a hygienist agenda that framed physicians' work and provided an interpretive key to public health-related issues. The article addresses these and other questions from the perspective of a text by Portuguese physician Antonio Correa de Lacerda who resided in Belém (Pará) and São Luís (Maranhão) between 1818 and 1852. Entitled "Cholera-morbus," the manuscript was written in 1832, the year the epidemic hit Paris. Lacerda calls on different areas of knowledge in his presentation of a coherent explanation of the disease, affording us a view of an anticontagionist interpretation grounded in anatomopathological practice. He likewise demonstrates how it was possible for a provincial doctor to produce original knowledge on the relation between climate, health, and culture, including the medicinal use of Amazon plants.
cholera; environmental medicine; hygienism; Amazon