Contributor: Jared Scott, MD
- Cholera has been responsible for 6 previous global pandemics and currently the world is in the seventh pandemic of cholera, ongoing since 1961.
- Cholera originated in the Ganges Delta of India and spread worldwide but largely is unseen in the US and other developed countries due to water sanitation
- Cholera is a bacterial illness that is water borne and causes severe diarrhea
- Estimates say that there are 1.3-4 million cases annually and up to 143,000 people die each year from Cholera.
- Treatment is largely supportive and can be done with oral rehydration therapy consisting of water, salt, and sugar.
- There are three oral vaccinations for Cholera but unfortunately are not widely available
- Cholera has been responsible for ushering in public health initiatives. Most famously when John Snow was able to isolate a single water source causing Cholera infections in London and by shutting it off eradicated the bacteria
“Cholera.” World Health Organization, World Health Organization, 17 Jan. 2019, https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/cholera
Clemens JD, Nair GB, Ahmed T, Qadri F, Holmgren J. Cholera. Lancet. 2017;390(10101):1539‐1549. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(17)30559-7
Summarized by Jackson Roos, MS4 | Edited by Erik Verzemnieks, MD