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Epidemics History
Epidemics
Acute Diarrheal Diseases and suspected cholera are common among the water borne diseases. In the 19th century, cholera became the world's first truly global disease in a series of epidemics that proved to be a watershed for the history of plumbing. Festering along the Ganges River in India for centuries, the disease broke out in Calcutta in 1817 with grand - scale results. India's traditional, great Kumbh festival at Hardwar in the Upper Ganges triggered the outbreak.
The festival lasts three months, drawing pilgrims from all over the country. Those from the Lower Bengal brought the disease with them as they shared the polluted water of the Ganges and the open, crowded camps on its banks. When the festival was over, they carried cholera back to their homes in other parts of India. There is no reliable evidence of how many Indians perished during that epidemic, but the British army counted 10,000 fatalities among its imperial troops. Based on those numbers, it's almost certain that at least hundreds of thousands of natives must have fallen victim across that vast land. When the festival ended, cholera raged along the trade routes to Iran, Baku and Astrakhan and up the Volga into Russia, where merchants gathered for the great autumn fair in Nijni-Novgorod. When the merchants went back to their homes in inner Russia and Europe, the disease went along with them. Cholera sailed from port to port, the germ making headway in contaminated kegs of water or in the excrement of infected victims, and transmitted by travelers. By 1827 cholera had become the most feared disease of the century.
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