The Cholera Epidemic of 1873 in the United States

The fourth cholera pandemic of the 19th century began in the Ganges Delta of the Bengal region and traveled with Muslim pilgrims to Mecca. In its first year, the epidemic claimed 30,000 of 90,000 pilgrims. Cholera spread throughout the Middle East and was carried to Russia, Europe, Africa and North America, in each case spreading via travelers from port cities and along inland waterways. The pandemic reached Northern Africa in 1865 and spread to sub-Saharan Africa, killing 70,000 in Zanzibar in 186970. Cholera claimed 90,000 lives in Russia in 1866. The epidemic of cholera that spread with the Austro-Prussian War (1866) is estimated to have taken 165,000 lives in the Austrian Empire, including 30,000 each in Hungary and Belgium, and 20,000 in the Netherlands. In June 1866, a localized epidemic in the East End of London claimed 5,596 lives, just as the city was completing construction of its major sewage and water treatment systems; the East End section was not quite complete. It was also caused by the city's overcrowding in the East End, which helped the disease to spread more quickly in the area. Epidemiologist William Farr identified the East London Water Company as the source of the contamination. Farr made use of prior work by John Snow and others, pointing to contaminated drinking water as the likely cause of cholera in an 1854 outbreak. In the same year, the use of contaminated canal water in local water works caused a minor outbreak at Ystalyfera in South Wales. Workers associated with the company, and their families, were most affected, and 119 died. In 1867, Italy lost 113,000 to cholera, and 80,000 died of the disease in Algeria. Outbreaks in North America in the 1870s killed some 50,000 Americans as cholera spread from New Orleans via passengers along the Mississippi River and to ports on its tributaries.

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Page 473 - We have extracted from the annual report of the commissioners of emigration, of the State of New York...
Page 13 - To set up anew the action of the poison, a certain period of incubation with the presence of alkaline moisture is required, which period is completed within one to three days ; a temperature favoring decomposition and moisture, or fluid of decided alkaline reaction hastening the process; the reverse retarding.
Page 726 - DR. WILLIAM W. GULL. REPORTS ON EPIDEMIC CHOLERA; its Cause and Mode of Diffusion, Morbid Anatomy, Pathology and Treatment. Drawn up at the desire of the Cholera Committee of the Royal College of Physicians.
Page 270 - Cienfuegos, are likewise divided into two zones, namely, one to the east and the other to the west of the harbor of Batabano, divided by an imaginary line drawn from the harbor of Batabano to the mouth of the "Sierra de Casas" River in the Isle of Pines, passing between Malpaez and Boqueron.
Page 52 - ... at great distances from the seat of original infection. At the recent international sanitary conference it was unanimously affirmed that " Cholera can be transmitted by personal effects coming from an infected place, especially such as have served for the sick from cholera ; and certain facts show that the disease can be carried to a distance by these effects if shut up so as to prevent free contact with the air.
Page 52 - It cannot be too distinctly understood that the person who contracts cholera in this country is ipso facto demonstrated with almost absolute certainty to have been exposed to excremental pollution; that what gave him cholera was (mediately or immediately...
Page 454 - AT DENISON, TEXAS. BY JAMES JOHNSTON, MD The town of Denison is situated in Grayson County, Texas, and is the terminus of the Missouri, Kansas and Texas, and the Houston and Texas Central Railroads. It was only one year old when the cholera made its appearance. It contained at the time between three and four thousand inhabitants, who were principally emigrants from the Northern and Eastern States. The first case of cholera that came under my notice was that of Dr. Moyse, who was attacked on the...
Page 673 - ... yet there are a sufficient number of known cases of the transfer of the epidemic from one post to another in this region to put this view of the whole movement beyond reasonable doubt.
Page viii - I have received valuable contributions, which will be found duly accredited iu the narrative of the epidemic. , At my request, Assistant Surgeon John S. Billings, United States Army, has prepared a most exhaustive bibliography of cholera, which will be found to be one of the most valuable contributions to the literature of the century.
Page 17 - States, the master shall submit for inspection to the officer of customs who first makes demand therefor, and shall subsequently deliver with his manifest of cargo on entry, a correct list, signed and verified on oath by the master, of all passengers taken...

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