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Term: cholera

Origin:  An Greek χολή/chole (=gall, bile)  as  obstruction of the small intestine, even as far as the the jejunum and ileum of the small intestine, will usually cause the expulsion of intestinal contents which have already mixed with bile in the duodenum.


Cholera has been prevalent in the Ganges delta since ancient times. There have been seven cholera pendemics in the past 200 years, with the seventh originating in Indonesia in 1961.
 Vibrio cholerae(recto), by Filippo Pacini, 1854 (University of Florence, Museum of natural History, Biomedical section).

In 1884 the German bacteriologist Robert Koch (1843-1910) reported from Calcutta that he had  identified Vibrio Cholerae as the causal agent of cholera.  Koch and scientific community ignored that 30 years before (1854) Filippo Pacini (1812-1883) had described that "miriadi di vibrioni" in cholera patients in a manuscript titled "Microscopical Observations and Pathological deductions on cholera" . 


Lippi D, Gotuzzo E. "The greatest steps towards the discovery of Vibrio cholerae"  Clinical Microbiology and Infection Volume 20, Issue 3, March 2014, Pages 191-195

N Howward-Jones "Robert Koch and the cholera vibrio: a centenary'.Br Med J Clin Res Ed, 1984, 288(6414):379-381

Cholera is an acute intestinal infection caused by ingestion of food or water contaminated with the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The main symptoms are profuse watery diarrhea and vomiting.

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