NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Illustration of the face of a patient affected by cholera taken from Symptome der Asiatichen cholera (Sympthoms of the Asian cholera) written by Robert Froriep in 1832. Cholera is an acute illness caused by the Gram-negative bacterium Vibrio cholerae which colonises the small bowel. Cholera starts with diarrhoea and vomiting between one and five days after infection. Up to 500ml of fluid may be lost each hour and, if not replaced, death follows within only a few hours due to dehydration. Cholera has caused many epidemics in the Indian continent and seven global pandemics in the last 160 years.
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