First large cholera epidemic (119 words)

Historical Context Note

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Although cholera had been endemic to the Ganges delta for thousands of years, it was the globalisation of the early nineteenth century that caused its spread across the world into pandemic proportions. The epidemic that swept Britain between 1831 and 1832 was part of a worldwide pandemic that had spread out of India from 1817, and westwards over the following decade and more. Triggering severe diarrhoea, it caused serious dehydration, and children were especially vulnerable. It is estimated that it claimed around 52 000 lives. It has since been pointed out that this was probably less than the number dying of tuberculosis, but cholera was a disease that drew more public attention - and panic - and thus more urgently fuelled much-needed …

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Editors. "First large cholera epidemic". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 August 2013
[, accessed 21 October 2017.]

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