Cholera : the biography Christopher Hamlin Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2009 Hardcover. 1st ed. and printing. x, 344 p. : ill. ; 21 cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG
Cholera is a frightening disease. Victims are wracked by stomach cramps and suffer intense diarrhoea. Death can come within hours.
Though now seeming a distant memory in Europe, which suffered several epidemics in the 19th century before John Snow identified the link with water, cholera is still a serious threat in many parts of the world – Zimbabwe is a recent example. Snow’s discovery was one of the great breakthroughs of epidemiology and a wonderful story from the history of science.
Later came the discovery of the culprit organism – Cholera vibrio -understanding of its life cycle, and the development of a vaccine. But the problem of cholera has not disappeared. This book tells the story of cholera, and looks at both the medical success in the West, and the different attitudes to the disease in countries in which it is prevalent as opposed to those in which it put in a temporary appearance. Unlike other books on cholera, which focus on the experience of particular countries, Christopher Hamlin’s account draws together the experiences from various countries, both those that were colonies and those that were not.