Cholera Essay -...

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Research Paper on the Cholera Epidemics of the 19 th  Century Sarah Lowery History 427
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Lowery 2 Professor Ian F. McNeely December 10, 2010 Cholera is one of the most contagious and fatal diseases in history.  The disease  was not new to the 19 th  century, but “instead of remaining, as formerly, circumscribed in  the provinces where it had appeared from time to time, under the form of epidemics,  which died out at the place of their origin, cholera took on, all of a sudden, an invading  character” 1 .  Doctors and researchers of the 19 th  century did not have the scientific tools  or knowledge to find effective remedies, leaving millions dead.  Cholera found human  kind unprepared and caused significant damage to our species, but at the same time  forced science, society, and politics to develop rapidly and effectively.  Scientists all over  the continent were continually working to find a reason why cholera seemed to be taking  over, while politicians were finding ways to make sure it would never happen again.   The water borne disease has been proven to be one of history's most virulent  killers since the very first pandemic in 1817.  Although the virus had previously spread  throughout India, it wasn't until British soldiers were infected by the disease that it drew  1  Samuel L. Abbot,  International Sanitary Conference. Report to the International Sanitary Conference of a  Commission from That Body, to Which Were Referred the Questions Relative to the Origin, Endemicity,  Transmissibility and Propagation of Asiatic Cholera  (Boston, MA: Alfred Mudge & Son, 1867), 7
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Lowery 3 European attention.  Several more pandemics occured during the 19 th  century and by the  end of the sixth pandemic in 1923, the disease had been spread throughout nearly every  country in Asia and Europe killing millions of people.  Cholera is caused by ingesting water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio  Cholerae which is carried in the feces of a cholera victim; this however was not  discovered until the middle of the 19 th  century.  The disease almost instantly infects the  small intestine which causes vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and then death- all of which occur  between 12-48 hours upon coming in contact with the bacteria.  This disease was so  easily spread during the 19 th  century because of the poor sanitary conditions and the  Great Kumbh Festival in India was a perfect environment for cholera to manifest.
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This note was uploaded on 02/26/2012 for the course HIST 427 taught by Professor Unknown during the Spring '12 term at University of Oregon.

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Cholera Essay -...

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