The Cholera Problem

by Oscar Felsenfeld, M.Sc., M.D., Chief, Division of Communicable Diseases, Tulane University, Delta Regional Primate Research Center; Adjunet Professor of Microbiology, Tulane University School of Medicine; Consultant in Cholera, World Health Organization. xii + 165 pages, illustrated. Warren H. Green, Inc., St. Louis, Missouri. 1967. $7.25

D. T. SmithDepartment of Microbiology Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27706

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The author of this monograph on cholera has had 40 years of experience with all phases of cholera control and treatment.

Cholera apparently evolved in ancient times in the Bengal area of India, which is now East Pakistan and West Bengal Province of India. It remained endemic for centuries except for some spread to China, presumably by overland trade routes.

There have been six pandemics of cholera since 1817. Modern methods of transportation had to be developed before the infecting agent could travel over all continents. Robert Koch and his associates isolated the cholera vibrio during the fifth epidemic (1881–1896).

All of the six pandemics were caused by the classic vibrio, Vibrio cholerae. The seventh pandemic began in Sulavesi (Celebes) in 1961 and is still spreading. This current pandemic stimulated the production of this monograph because this epidemic is not caused by classic cholera vibrio, V. cholerae, but by V. cholerae biotype El Tor.

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