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Categories: Infectious Diseases

This is an acute infectious disease caused by a specific
organism and characterized by profuse watery discharges from the bowels

and great prostration.

Causes. Some inherit a weakness, making them more susceptible than others

to this disease. Other causes are intemperance, general debility,

unhygienic surroundings, exciting causes. The spirillum (cholera

asiaticus) found in the stools, watery discharges and inte
tines of

affected cases and its transmission by infected food and water.

Symptoms. After an incubation period of about one to five days, the

invasion is marked either by simple diarrhea with some general ill-feeling

and prostration, or by abdominal pains, vomiting and diarrhea. Mild cases

may recover at this time. In the stage of collapse, there are frequent

watery movements resembling rice water, with vomiting, great thirst,

abdominal pains and eruptions on the legs. There is sudden collapse and

temperature that is below normal; nearly all secretions are greatly

diminished. In the so-called cases of cholera sicca (dry) death occurs

before the diarrhea begins, although a rice water fluid is found in the

intestines after death. After two to twenty-four hours those who have not

died may recover or pass into the stage of reaction in which the signs of

collapse and purging disappear. After improvement, with slight rise of

temperature at times, there may be a relapse or the patient may have

inflammation of some of the viscera (cavity organs) and suppression of the

urine with delirium, coma and death.

The prognosis is worse in infancy, old age and debilitated persons, and in

cases of rapid collapse, low temperature and great blueness. Death rate

from thirty to eighty per cent.

Treatment. Isolate the patient and disinfect all discharges and clothing.

Use boiled water during an epidemic.

For pain, morphine hypodermically, and apply hot applications to the


For vomiting. Wash out the stomach and give cocaine, ice, coffee, brandy

or water by the mouth. Intestines may be irrigated with a two per cent

solution of tannic acid.

During collapse. Hypodermic of camphor, hot applications to the body.

Good nursing and careful diet.