MAR 07, 2017 4:34 AM PST

Cholera 101: Microbes Lurking in Sewage

WRITTEN BY: Kara Marker

Cholera is an intestinal infection caused by a bacterium, called Vibrio cholerae. The infection turned lethal when it first appeared in Europe and North America in the 19th century, when the epidemic killed thousands of people because scientists at the time did not realize that the bacteria spread through contaminated drinking water until 1855.

Cholera causes intense watery diarrhea, vomiting, and leg cramps. Cause of death from cholera occurs from an excessive, overwhelming loss of body fluids. In the 19th century, because scientists didn't know that the contaminated drinking water was the root of infection, people suffering from severe cholera were given more of the water that made them sick. Now that scientists understand the cause of the disease, it can be cured with simple fluids.
About the Author
  • I am a scientific journalist and enthusiast, especially in the realm of biomedicine. I am passionate about conveying the truth in scientific phenomena and subsequently improving health and public awareness. Sometimes scientific research needs a translator to effectively communicate the scientific jargon present in significant findings. I plan to be that translating communicator, and I hope to decrease the spread of misrepresented scientific phenomena! Check out my science blog: ScienceKara.com.
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