Public health, urban space and social exclusion in postwar Spain: the exanthematic typhus epidemic in the city of Valencia, 1941-1943
Abstract After the Spanish Civil War, poor hygiene and nutritional deficiencies among a large part of Spain’s population contributed to the rise of epidemic diseases. Exanthematic typhus posed a challenge to the health authorities, especially during the spring of 1941, when the epidemiological cycle of the disease and the lack of infrastructures combined to create a serious health crisis. The Franco regime, aware that this situation posed a threat to its legitimacy, promptly used social exclusion as part of its health policy against the epidemic. This article provides an in-depth analysis of the case of Valencia, a city that was behind Republican lines during the war, and therefore received successive waves of refugees as Franco’s troops advanced.