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The Hunger Project Bolen Report
Ohm Society
Cholera Print E-mail

Dr. Kennedy Cholera is a devastating and sometimes deadly disease with intense vomiting and profuse watery diarrhea leading to dehydration which, unless treated immediately, can be fatal. Cholera was discovered in 1883 to be due to infection with Vibrio cholerae, a comma-shaped bacteria. The discovery was made by the great German bacteriologist Robert Koch (1843-1910). As head of a commission investigating the disease, Koch went to Egypt where an epidemic was taking in progress and there he found some sort of bacterium in the intestines of those dead from cholera but could neither isolate the organism nor infect animals with it. Later in 1883 Koch went to India, where he wrote that he succeeded in isolating "a little bent [bacilli], like a comma." He discovered that the bacteria thrived in damp dirty linen and moist earth and in the stools of patients with the disease. The key to treating cholera is prompt and complete replacement of the fluid and salt lost through the profuse diarrhea. Patients are rehydrated with an oral solution which is a prepackaged mixture of sugar and salts that is then mixed with water and drunk in large amounts. With prompt and complete oral rehydration, fewer than 1% of cholera patients now die.

The information in this article is not meant to be medical advice.�Treatment for a medical condition should come at the recommendation of your personal physician.

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