The disease known as Asiatic cholerafirst infiltrated Great Britain in 1831, with
its arrival in Sunderland1.From there, it broke out in epidemic proportionsthrough
1832.Three more epidemics would follow the 1832 outbreak, 1848, 1854, and 1866.
Cholera is defined as an acute infectious disease, originated in India, characterized by
profuse vomiting, cramps, etc.2These epidemics killed numerous Brits and effected
many more.Several reasons can be seen for the continued importation and spread during
these different epidemics.Amongst the most prominent is dispute within the medical
community.Until Robert Koch was credited with isolating Vibrio choleraein 18833, the
community was constantly torn over the cause of disease in general and specifically
cholera.Many theories came about, each seemingly disputing the previous.With these
new scientific theories came arguments as to the best methods to prevent, control and
deal with the cholera.Until Koch's discovery ended the dispute, there was never a
general consensus as to the best method of care for cholera victims.This paper will look
at the causes and symptoms of cholera, statistics of the four outbreaks, the different
effects that cholera had on the lay people, and the differing theories and how they slowed
progress towards prevention of cholera.
Cholera is a disease caused by the bacteria Vibrio cholerae.Cholera is spread
through water or food that has been contaminated by the feces of others infected with
cholera4.Symptoms include several characteristics.Initially, the person is anxious, and
nauseated as well as dizzy.This is followed by severe vomiting and diarrhea, with feces
that are a grayish liquid, often called rice water.This is soon followed by extreme
muscle cramps (or even seizures) and a desire for water.This is followed by the "sinking
stage" where the patients pulse and body t…