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Logan Library

Reacting to the Past: London: The Science of Cholera

A resource guides for students engaged in the game London 1854: Cesspits, Cholera and Conflict over the Broad Street Pump

A Friendlier Strain

One company, Giant Microbes, specializes in making plush toys of microscopic diseases for teachers and other educators. Above is their stylized representation of a cholera bacterium. (Image by

Preventing the Spread

Mayo Clinic provides a few helpful tips on preventing the spread of cholera. (Image by Wikimedia Commons)

Cholera: An Overview

"Cholera is an acute, diarrheal illness caused by infection of the intestine with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. An estimated 3-5 million cases and over 100,000 deaths occur each year around the world. The infection is often mild or without symptoms, but can sometimes be severe. Approximately one in 10 (5-10%) infected persons will have severe disease characterized by profuse watery diarrhea, vomiting, and leg cramps. In these people, rapid loss of body fluids leads to dehydration and shock. Without treatment, death can occur within hours."

-The Center for Disease Control and Prevention 

How Cholera Moves

"Cholera is not contagious meaning that chance of being transmitted from one person to another through direct contact is highly unlikely. The bacteria needs to be consumed in large quantities through contaminated food or water. It takes about 10 million cholera bacteria to cause the disease although smaller numbers may still be dangerous if it can survive the passage through the stomach." (Image by

An Answer in Medicine

Recently, doctors developed an oral cholera vaccine and distributed it among native Haitians. They distributed more than 300,000 doses in 2012 and were able to produce the medicine for a mere $1.85 a dose. (Image by

Cholera Quick Facts

The World Health Organization offers a brief summary of Cholera and its history. (Image by Wikimedia Commons)

Books about Cholera

What is Cholera?