Honors World Regional Blog Assignment #5 Fall 2016 Posted on September 20, 2016 by saorsa2014 Asia: Cholera and Malaria in India Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading... Related
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India is known for its incredibly high population. It has the second largest population on Earth, with an estimated population of around 1.2 billion people. India also has a large population of flora and fauna, a result of India’s tropical climate in the southern part of the subcontinent. A downside to the massive amounts of living things in such a biodiverse environment is that such environments are breeding grounds for disease. Two diseases in particular that cast a specter over India are malaria and cholera.
Cholera is indigenous to India, specifically the Sundarbans mangrove forests at the mouth of the Bengal River. For much of history cholera remained a local disease as it could only be spread by human to human contact and the region was not a particularly heavy traveled or populated area. However, when the British arrived in the Sundarbans and turned much of the area into plantations, cholera became a global disease. Now exposed to a larger population and able to spread globally on trading ships, cholera outbreaks became worldwide, killing millions of people in the next few centuries. Cholera is causes by vibrio cholerae, a strain of bacterium that breaks down dead micro crustaceans. If vibrio cholerae are in water consumed by a human, that person stands a very high chance of getting cholera. Given the poor sanitation prior to modern medicine and the poor sanitation common to the global south, it is no surprise how devastating and fast spreading cholera outbreaks can be. Cholera is still endemic in the Sundarbans and care has to be taken to be sure that the water that people in that region use is sanitary.
Malaria is another disease that plagues India. Labelled a “high risk” are by the World Health Organization, India is full of environments for malaria-carrying mosquitoes such as Anopheles to breed. India has face malaria for virtually all of its recorded history. Malaria was a huge cause of death in India prior to independence. Following independence from Britain in 1947, the new Indian Government was quick to try and address the malaria problem. Several programs, such as the National Malarial Control Program and the in National Malarial Eradication Program, in 1953 and 1958, respectively, made great progress against malaria. However, as time has passed, cases of malaria have been rising. This is due to a more complacent approach to combating malaria by many officials concerned with economic growth or other issues. Another cause of this rebound in malaria cases is the evolution of resistant strains of both malaria and mosquito, effectively undoing any progress made by older pesticides and antimalarial medicines. Malaria has also spread beyond rural areas and has moved into urban area, greatly increasing the incident rate of malaria due to much higher populations of people in malarial areas. India still faces an uphill battle in its fight with malaria, a fight that will last an extremely long time if not indefinitely.
India continues to have to fight to keep its people safe from disease, a fight that has proved extremely difficult. People hope that a medical breakthrough will occur that will make malaria more manageable and that sanitation can be brought to such a level to negate cholera, but for now Indians must live and too often die under the specters of these diseases.
Widespread diseases in Asia are a common occurrence because of the high populations of many countries. Among the major diseases that have developed in the area are cholera and malaria. Both of these diseases spread quickly because after one person contracts it, it is just a short matter of time before others get it too. India is one country that is affected heavily by these diseases due to the fact that they have the second highest population in the world after China. They are a very densely populated country, so disease spreads quickly among their citizens. People are packed more tightly in large cities, so they come in contact with more people in their daily lives than most people do which helps diseases spread much faster than they would in less densely populated regions.
Cholera’s development is helped through an algae called zooplankton. Zooplankton are small organisms that grow in water. They house an organism called vibrio cholerae which is what causes the disease. The vibrio cholerae cling to the exoskeleton of the zooplankton and survive through the symbiotic relationship. Since these organisms live in water, cholera can spread quickly. The people have no way of knowing whether or not the water they are drinking has the organisms in it, so as a result, they have no idea whether or not it is safe. Normally when water is unsafe, people boil it to purify it, but since the people in India cannot detect the safeness of their water, they cannot decide whether or not it needs to be boiled.
India is a country that has vast coastlines and poor sanitation, so this helps spread cholera more quickly than in other countries. The Sundarbans in lower India and Bangladesh is an area that is mainly comprised of wet regions consisting of mangrove trees. This climate makes it very easy to spread cholera as well as malaria. Since cholera is usually extracted when someone who has it excretes their waste and it gets into public water that other people may be consuming, it is very easy to spread. Additionally, cholera can spread quickly whenever a person consumes a food product that came from a body of water that is contaminated with vibrio cholerae as is shown in one of the pictures.
Malaria is carried through mosquitoes and is obtained when an infected mosquito bites the person. Mosquitoes can spread throughout a country in a small amount of time, so the disease spreads quickly too. As the maps show, people in most of Africa as well as parts of Asia including India have a high chance of being infected with malaria. These countries do not have the same access to medicines that more developed countries have, so this causes them to be unable to control diseases as efficiently. One of the main ways that they attempt to mitigate the spread of malaria to people is through the use of nets as shown in one of the pictures. People, especially children sleep under nets that block mosquitoes from biting and therein infecting them while they sleep.
In conclusion, India is a hot spot for both malaria and cholera due to a few different factors. Since they are a developing country with a high and dense population as well as a country that has many wet regions that contain many species such as vibrio cholerae, it is very hard for them to control diseases such as these. So until cleaner living conditions are developed and a better way to treat malaria is found, people in India will continue to suffer and die from these horrible diseases.
North, Michael. “Cholera Online: A Modern Pandemic in Texts and Images – Introduction.” U.S
National Library of Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 17 July 2015. Web. 16
Very nice discussion, good use of outside resources.
We like to think that we have a handle on disease, that we are constantly conquering the big ones and will eventually be immune to all of them. But that simply is not true. Disease is, as I like to call it, the Great Buffer. It helps to keep humans from becoming too overpopulated and firmly reminds us just how fragile and powerless we tend to be in the grand scheme of things. Some of the greatest and most powerful people in history have succumbed to disease and infection just like anybody else would. And every single time we cure one disease, it seems that three new ones appear and another dozen have mutated into different strains that can kill us and transmit between us even faster.
Cholera has risen to such an obscurity in the United States that there are some people who simply believe that the disease was invented for a theatrical device in Westerns…and that can be a bit depressing for the sake of worldly knowledge. However, it can also be seen as a very good thing because our society does not really have to worry about it like it used to. Because it is a bacterium, Cholera can hang around in our guts and be quite nasty. And honestly I would say a diarrhea death would be one of the worst ways to go. In the U.S. if you get cholera then you are really sick but get fluids and are usually fine. In the poorer regions of India and especially in its origins of the Bengal region, it continues to be one of the harshest natural ways to die.
Malaria in a bit of contrast has boasted more public scope. Whether this is because of its transferability via common household pests (mosquitos) or the fact that it is parasitic remains to be seen. According to the World Health Organization, nearly half of the world’s population (3.2 billion) was at risk for contracting Malaria in 2014. Though the government reports an average of 561 deaths per year from Malaria, others estimate that the death toll reaches upwards of 200,000 people every year. Frankly, this number is absurd. Perhaps the Zika virus has assisted in brushing this disease under the rug, but people have a right to know what is going on in the world, as upsetting as it may be. On a personal note, I would say that has been one of the most frustrating and surprising ideas that I have learned in the past few months. It is shocking how governments hide things for the sake of public scope or just to save a buck, and India is no exception.
Above, Josh well covered how humans contract both Cholera and Malaria, one of the only things I would add would be that one of the reasons that mutation has not occurred as rapidly in the two has been because they of bacterial and parasitic, respectively. It is usually viruses that are rapidly mutating different strains. Were either of these a virus with the same characteristics, the effects could be horrifying to behold.
Very nice discussion.
The nation of India is home to an extremely biodiverse environment in addition to its massive population. The environments include deserts, mountain ranges, highlands, temperate forests, rivers, and swamplands. As diverse as the organisms and wildlife are in this vast nation, so too are diseases. Two of the major diseases in India are malaria and cholera.
Malaria has been a major disease in India for centuries, even dating back to ancient India from medical records such as the Atharva Veda. This disease became more prominent in the late nineteenth to early twentieth centuries. During this time nearly a quarter of India’s population suffered from malaria. This interestingly enough put a negative long lasting effect on the economy of India for a couple of years. Cases in malaria began to slowly increase, and it was not until the 1950s that the Indian Government finally began to carry out action to fight malaria. In 1953, the National Malaria Control Program was enacted, decreasing the number of malaria cases to close to 2 million in 1958. This continued into the early 1960s, when there were no deaths recorded. However, the program has since seen numerous setbacks in the outlook and process. Technical, financial, and development problems caused a large resurgence in malaria in the 60s and 70s. This is also a huge concern because this time frame marked a transition from malaria being in rural areas only to now being exposed into more urban areas. Malaria, like any other diseases, have begun to start evolving and resisting insecticides, becoming more complex diseases, making it more difficult to kill or vaccinate off. Because of this, cases of malaria are now starting to surface at a high rate. Until India can fully maintain a constant containment rate, malaria will always be a natural disease issue.
Cholera was originated in the Sundarbans mangrove swamps at the head of the Bay of Bengal. What seemed to be a helpful tool to the environment, human exposure and expedition resulted in a dangerous and deadly disease. During the 1760s, The British settled upon India and the Bay of Bengal. As they began to deforest almost ninety percent of the land, the vibrio cholerae had less chitin to feed on, and as a result began to travel more downstream the river. This is a problem because as people would take water from the river to drink, they would also be drinking the cholera, which would lead to dehydration, expulsion, and sometimes death. Not only just exposed to India, they cholera bacterium would travel out to the Indian Ocean, devastating humans and wildlife in that region and even worldwide. Multiple outbreaks have been recorded for centuries, the most recent outbreak in India occurring in 1975, resulting in an endemic of cholera. More specifically, the Ganges Delta is full of cholera, and flows from there to the rest of India, causing numerous outbreaks and cases all across the nation. Containment needs to be addressed in India if they want to control the spread of this bacterium. This will be a difficult task due to overcrowding areas and poor sanitation, especially considering how polluted the Ganges River is.
India is a nation full of beauty and natural luxury. However, diseases such as malaria and cholera threaten that beauty constantly, resulting in millions of deaths annually. If containment measures aren’t enacted, then this disease will continue to arise and deaths will continue.
Thanks to the phenomenon of time space compression, traveling across vast distances has become easier and inexpensive as ever before. With this, there is greater concern of the spread of disease and how to properly control outbreaks when they happen. The perfect environments for newly occurring diseases are areas of high biodiversity, typically tropical and subtropical climates. With the ever growing development of areas of high biodiversity that were once inhabited by humans, the risk of disease spreading into highly populated areas has increased. This is what occurred with cholera, a bacterium that feeds on the exoskeletons of crustaceans. The first outbreak of cholera occurred in Bengal from 1817 to 1826. Cholera thrives in warm, brackish waters. With the development and occupation of the Sundarbans at the head of the Bay of Bengal, this created the perfect condition for the spread of the disease. The bacterium, Vibrio cholerae, produces a deadly toxin within the small intestine which causes severe, watery diarrhea. There were several other pandemics between 1821 up to 1975. Today, there have been no reoccurring pandemics but local outbreaks are affecting mainly developing regions of the world. Cholera can be easily transmitted through contaminated waters and with the lack of proper sanitation and access to clean water, the disease can easily spread throughout communities. It is rare to see pandemics of any disease in the developed world thanks to proper infrastructure and general access to resourced health care facilities. Regions that lack proper infrastructure and access to health care are at greater risk of the reoccurrence of pandemics. India, with its highly populated urban areas and areas of high biodiversity, has been plagued by a series of endemics of cholera and malaria. The country itself accounts for 70% of the total cases of malaria in South East Asia. Malaria is caused by a parasite that is typically transmitted through the saliva of female Anopheles mosquitoes. Beginning in the 1950s, the Global Malaria Eradication Programme of WHO had huge success in India as incidence of malaria dropped dramatically. By 1961, with only 49, 151 cases and no deaths, malaria was believed to be on the verge of eradication but a series of setbacks emerged, causing the increase of cases to over thirteen million in 1971. The reoccurrence of the disease is partially attributed to the resistance in insects to the commonly used insecticide DDT. The insecticide was introduced in the 1950s as the main weapon against the spread of malaria. The overuse of the insecticide over several decades has led to the resistance in vectors that are responsible for the spread of the disease. The movement of peoples from different parts of the country has led to the spread of malaria into different urban areas within India. Migrants generally are hard to track and monitor by health organizations and they typically do not comply with control strategies of the country. Malaria has seen resurgence in India in part by resistance to insecticides and medicines, lack of proper infrastructure and overcrowding, and the continued migration of peoples from various regions of the country.
When discussing Cholera and Malaria most people think of India and Africa as the biggest sources of these disease outbreaks. There is a lot of history and many reasons for why these two places are so widely known for some of the deadliest diseases in the world. Climate has quite a bit to do with the origins and outbreaks of these viruses. The other two biggest factors are population and sanitation. These two have more influence over the spread of Cholera and Malaria in today’s world because the ability to travel anywhere in the world in a matter of hours means these viruses spread to places that the climate would otherwise not support their growth.
Cholera is a virus that once only affected a small region of India. It started in the Sundarbans, a hot and swampy area located at the mouth of the Bengal river, and only became widespread when humans came in and started to use the land for farming and agriculture. The transformation of the land was the first problem for the copepods who lived in the swampy waters and thrived off the dead crustaceans within it. With their life source decreasing they had to adapt to survive another way, and it chose humans as it’s host. With the ability to farm and grow food comes an influx of people and suddenly the Cholera had plenty of hosts to thrive off of. Cholera is not a deadly disease if it can be treated and handled properly, as its main way of transmission is through expulsion the most common deaths are due to dehydration. At the time no one knew about sanitation and the need for clean water so Cholera spread quickly all across Asia and further as more advances in trade and traveling were discovered. Even after the discovery and acceptance of Germ Theory, Cholera is still a big issue in overpopulated and poverty stricken areas like India. The vibrio cholerae no longer need a certain climate to survive in but just simply need a cluster of human hosts to continue to thrive. Overpopulation itself present and issue with stopping Cholera because so many people can be affected in such a short period of time but it also typically means sanitation levels are lower because there are just too many people and not enough clean areas or resources.
Malaria also depends on a certain environment to survive, as mosquitoes need still-water to lay and hatch eggs. While Malaria first developed in Africa it was not long before it spread to China and then India where it was also able to thrive due to overpopulation, swampy waters, and lack of sanitation. Malaria is a worse disease on its own, with flu like symptoms and very high and deadly fevers. Unfortunately, it too has adapted to no longer needing a certain climate to survive as there are now strands that originated in very urban areas rather than only rural areas.
While both of these viruses began as dependents of the warm climate of India they have quickly transitioned into surviving through humans. Trade and the ability to travel allows these diseases to spread and adapt rather than be stuck in the same environment where evolution is less likely to occur if nothing new is introduced. Most countries have a handle on dealing with Malaria and Cholera now, whether it be from medicines or just sanitation. However, there are still many areas, in India and Africa particularly, where they are unable to combat Malaria and Cholera because of overpopulation or unsolved sanitation issues.
Evolution of Malaria Parasites. http://www.malariasite.com/history-parasites/
As we know, a natural hazard becomes a risk when people are added to the mix. Such is the case with cholera in India. The vibrio cholerae bacteria that cause this disease occur naturally in the Sunderbans at the head of the Bay of Bengal. This is an ideal habitat for the bacteria, where they can feed on zooplankton and get little harmful sunlight. Upon British occupation in the 1760’s, the swamps of the Sunderbans were mostly cleared and developed. It’s almost like a movie; you want to yell at the character to stop as they are making a huge mistake. Development put many, many Indians and foreigners in contact with the bacteria and began the multiple cholera pandemics of the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries.
How does cholera kill? The human body need only expel the bacteria once infected. Today, a cholera patient can be well cared for until they are through this period. But in centuries past, it was a matter of the cholera patient dying due to dehydration.
How did cholera spread? The channels were contact and water contamination. Cholera epidemics occurred pre-germ theory because no one quite understood how it happened. Many came into contact with the bacteria as cholera patients expelled it. Water sources were often the source of contamination as well. But they did not realize how germs worked, and so lacked the knowledge to sanitize mercilessly and boil water. Granted, strong antibacterial cleaning supplies would come after germ theory. At the time, they believed this disease was the result of breathing in bad air.
Cholera was able to spread worldwide in the holds of ships going from India to Europe or the Americas. Globalization means that things get shared further and further, including disease. So it became the world’s problem, and actually fueled xenophobia in many instances. The thought was usually that any outsider must be the one who brought disease.
It is a changed world after John Snow and the prevalence of germ theory. London, and later the world, began to understand that many diseases are actually caused by microscopic things called bacteria. The first major step was more careful disposal of sewage, a major breeding ground for disease in large cities. Britain’s 1848 Public Health Act focused on removal of waste and clean drinking water, the two things that are probably the most essential to public health and disease prevention.
Cholera has become a “disease of poverty”. Underdeveloped nations lack the mechanisms and infrastructure to take care of waste and drinking water, and so disease runs rampant. They also usually lack the means to care for cholera patients, who often die of dehydration and pass cholera to others as in centuries past. Public sanitation and clean drinking water should most definitely be the priority as other nations help underdeveloped or disaster stricken ones. These things are so easy for us to take for granted, and we must remember how important they are. Humanitarian organizations that are actually putting resources into sanitation and drinking water are right with the ones that provide food; they are doing the most good.
Nice work – especially the discussion of why cholera continues to be a problem in the developing world.
Is it possible to talk about disease outbreak in India without mentioning the population? In fact, how about an outbreak in any country? The answer is obviously no, without population there is no outbreak. It is the density of the population that mainly contributes to the extremity of the outbreak. With India in particular, they have the second largest population in the world, and one of the densest (441 people per square mile). When you combine the massive population factor with the dense population factor, you can set the stage for some nasty disease outbreaks, and that is exactly how Cholera and Malaria spread so quickly and effectively.
The climate in India is very tropical in the south and is very supportive of almost all species of life. This creates a spectacle of life in the area but is bad in regards to how the disease of cholera can spread. Since cholera is a native disease to India, it has always been present, but never widely exposed because the region that the cholera was located in is not heavily traveled and there was not a fast way for it to spread through the water or humans. But when British troops moved into India, the cholera began a widespread outbreak wiping out tens of thousands of Indians and ten thousand British troops. This was considered the initial outbreak of cholera in India, although it had been present in the region for a while. The British cut down lots of trees in the area, therefore reducing chitin levels for the cholera to eat. The cholera traveled father down the river and spread to new places along the river as well as the Indian ocean. As of current the Ganges river contains a lot of the vibrio cholerae. When people drink the water out of the river their chances of getting the disease are high and chances of passing it through the body if it is consumed is low.
Malaria outbreaks in India are also a very severe problem. During the late eighteen hundreds the British were using the Indians to construct railways and malaria was widespread trough the railway system as well as many new strains were getting introduced from labor in other malaria infested areas. There were multiple other outbreaks that cuased problems until eventually the Malaria Control Programmes were created under British control and continued after Indian independence in 1946. Although these programmes helped in partly slowing the disease by evacuating the infected, removing infected territory, etc. The fast spread of mosquitoes across the country and the lack of access to medicines contribute a great deal to the fact that there is still widespread malaria in the country. Another problem with malaria is that the people may not be informed about the disease as well as they should be, and as Landan mentioned in his post the government claims to average 561 deaths per year due to malaria while other claim 200,000 plus die each year from the disease. The number are drastically different and it is disturbing how two very significantly different views are being expressed. Regardless, it is necessary that the government turn disease control into a reality for the citizens of India.
As you can see from the pictured above and the statistics shown here and in the pictures, these diseases have potential to be very deadly. India is a country with a lot of beauty and potential to be very successful in the current global economy to get these diseases out of the way would make a world of difference. With India’s poor sanitation and massive population controlling these outbreaks is much tougher.
Cholera, as discussed in class, is exclusively a human disease that spreads extremely quickly through water contamination. The main causes of contamination comes from poor sanitation and overcrowding. India is an extremely crowded country. With over 1.2 million people, India is the second most populous country in the world. This allows for an extremely high contamination rate. Over a five-year period, the incidence of cholera and death rate in India has steadily increased since the start of the millennium. Since the previous five-year studied the rise of affected individuals has risen by twenty four percent. It is easy to say that cholera and malaria are massive problems. While we are getting better at treating the problem once it arises, it is also becoming more prevalent. As stated above, the population is a huge contributor to the rising problems in India. But why then is India so greatly affected and not Asia? Location, location, location.
The Sundarbans are Mangrove swamps at the head of the Bay of Bengal which is partly in Bangladesh and partly in India. There is a five hundred mile tidal reach that is the home to vibreo cholera. The vibrio cholera feed on the discarded chitin of copepods. In the 1760s this area was cleared and the British made it into rice growing areas. A lot of people were now living in close proximity to the disease.
Malaria on the other hand is contracted from parasites. Mosquitos, which lay their larva in still water, transmit the disease into the blood causing anemia, fever, and can even cause death. Some scientist think that the spread of malaria is rising due to the rise of global temperatures in areas that were originally too cold for mosquitos to survive. In 2013 .88 million cases were recorded and the current numbers are anywhere from .7-1.2 million. Even though this is the number that is affected a lot less people die because of the increased use of vaccines. In 1947 there were approximately seventy five million cases of malaria and nearly half of these died from it. Presently, these numbers have greatly reduced. One report states that on in seven Indians are at risk for contracting malaria
For both malaria and cholera, the same reasons cause in increase in spread. Rapid urbanization of tropical areas leads to the population outpacing the existing water treatment system. Access to clean, treated drinking water is not always a possibility which leads to the population to rely on water pooling. They must travel and carry water to their home where it is stored outside in unopened containers and then used as needed. This is the perfect habitat for mosquitos to lay eggs as well as making it easier for the water to be contaminated from someone with cholera. Floods, earthquakes, and tsunamis can lead to an increase in the prevalence of both malaria and cholera. All of these things are natural disasters that are common in India. When a natural disaster occurs, such as those listed above, the sanitation system is compromised as well as still water becoming more available for mosquitos.
Biodiversity has a huge impact on Southeastern Asia, both positively and negatively. Human population growth in places like India, Myanmar, and China are skyrocketing. The wilderness of these places is home to thousands of unique animals, insects, and plant species. Due to the subtropical climates in part of Southeast Asia, high levels of bacteria and mosquitos populate areas like the Sunderbans in Bangladesh. For thousands of years, these remote areas remained relatively uninhabited and untouched. As populations grew, these rural areas grew as well. Infrastructure projects plowed straight through the marshy rivers and swamps that hosted these bacteria and mosquitos. As people settled, drank water, and got bit, disease began to spread. Due to the development of roads, the hosts could travel all over, spreading the disease they carried. Since then, cholera, in particular, has been spread to every single continent in the world. For the most part, a simple IV for rehydration and some antibiotics can tame cholera symptoms. However, in countries with little-to-no healthcare services, it’s very difficult to get rid of cholera and it can advance very quickly to life threatening stages. Even if you aren’t really poor, India’s population density can make it very difficult to get access to medical assistance and health care. India’s poor water sanitation and lack of health services lends to increase levels of infection. Because there is a very poor handle on this, the on the bacteria that causes cholera, it has been able to mutate. Changes in the biotypes and serotypes of the bacteria have allowed it to strengthen itself against some types of antibiotics. Much of India and Bangladesh must therefore take proactive rather than reactive measures to protect themselves. Many people try to use nets around their beds and in their homes to ward off mosquitos and malaria. As for cholera, it’s very hard to avoid the bacteria if it is in the public water systems. Water is also a very big problem in the spread of both malaria and dengue fever. Mosquitos, which can carry both, lay their larvae in still water. When the larvae hatch and grow up, they bite a person and a small parasite enters the blood stream of its host. When community infrastructure is poor, the handling of these diseases becomes very difficult to manage. When a country diverts global attention away it gets even worse. India, which has been known to have a morally ambiguous government, has provided some but not many solutions to the problem. To truly rid India and Bangladesh of these diseases there would have to be significant improvements to infrastructure, health care, and a national attention on the prevention of the disease. I think this issue should be more prevalent in the public eye, however, there are quite a few issues that I feel similarly about so that gets into the whole discussion of what is most important, right now. I would need quite a bit more time to go into that.
Good discussion, very nice last thought 🙂
Cholera is a gastrointestinal infection cause by the bacterium Vibrio cholera. Symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea which can lead to dehydration. Six of the seven recorded pandemic began in India. Cholera started out as a local infection at the head of the Bay of Bengal (Ganges Delta). The infection started to spread through travel routes, steamships, and pilgrimage routes. In no time cholera had spread all over the world. It spread to southeast Asia through trade routes, to MENA because of pilgrimage routes, to Russia and the Baltic, and lastly to the United States. Another reason that cholera spread so fast in India is because of the high concentration of people in small amount of land. India is the second largest population in the world. This increases the chance of people getting infected. At the time, nobody knew how the disease was spreading and people believed it was due to breathing bad air. It was later discovered by John Snow that it spread through contaminated water. India greatly suffers from poor water sanitation. This is very important and unfortunate because cholera spreads by consuming water or food contaminated with infected fecal matter. Approximately 665 million Indian citizens defecate openly. It’s also not uncommon for open drains to be contaminated by overflow of raw sewage. These factors help to explain the many outbreaks of cholera in the country. As a result, water or food is highly likely to get contaminated with cholera. Children ages 2 to 4 have the highest rate of infection. Symptoms can appear to as little as half a day to five days after ingestion. Diarrhea from cholera is often referred as rice water because of the weird clear color it takes and may have a fish like odor. Fever may occur but is rare. Due to high water loss, high blood pressure can be expected and can result in labored breathing. If left untreated the symptoms of diarrhea can dehydrate and kill the person. Cholera kills about half of it’s victims. Cholera is highly contagious and since it makes the person vomit or have diarrhea it is easier for other people to get infected. The infected diarrhea or vomit is released and gets into water systems where it is consumed by another person and the cycle repeats itself. The best prevention for cholera is good hygiene practices and water sanitation. Boiling the water is another form of killing cholera. There is no way to tell if water or food is infected so this can be really hard in knowing when to boil water or eat a certain product. Today with the increase in medicine and sanitation cholera is not that prevalent as it was in the past but it can still be a deadly disease if ignored and not treated.
Good thoughts, a little brief.
Obviously with the spread of technology and the increased ease of travel, it has become much easier for deadly and destructive diseases to spread quickly, creating new challenges for combatting these potential epidemics. Luckily for us, with the increased connectivity and travel we have also improved the methods by which we combat and prevent disease. Therefore, while a disease might reach more diverse peoples, it has become easier to contain the disease quickly. Historically, however, different diseases have proven an incredible challenge to combat. Specifically in India, Cholera has been the cause of major epidemics and health scares throughout the centuries. Cholera originates from small copepods that reside in water, invisible to the naked eye. Originally, cholera had not been a major issue for Indian communities. Those that came in contact with these copepods may infect their own villages, but once that population was wiped out by the disease it didn’t travel any further. When Europeans began commercializing the copepod swamps into rice production sites the disease had the opportunity to infect many more people who would come in contact with an unprecedented number of people themselves. Where once the disease only infected scattered tribes it was now able to affect whole farming communities and travel much further distances. This new exposure to the copepods was the cause of several epidemics over the course of a few centuries. These epidemics were fueled by trade routes and pilgrimages as individuals began travelling further and contacting a more diverse group of people. For example, in the mid-1800s approximately 15,000 people died at Mecca while they were on Hajj. All it would have taken was one infected person to begin their journey before it had infected and killed thousands of people. While there is no potential way to argue that cholera is a good thing, a few beneficial things have come from the spread of this disease. For one, the spread of cholera lead the city of London to deal with the removal of sewage for the first time ever. Furthermore, in the late 1800s cholera helped Robert Koch to develop the germ theory, which we now credit much of our modern hygiene practices to. Cholera is considered a disease of the impoverished: it doesn’t have to be deadly if the infected individual can stay hydrated until it passes. This however, requires hospitalization and isn’t a reality for many people living in rural communities and under-developed countries throughout the world. Its effect is also increased by famine. When poorer countries have to deal with a lack of food in addition to the spread of this highly contagious disease many more people die than when everyone is well fed.
Good discussion, the link between famine and cholera is a nice touch.
Having the second largest world population comes with its own set of issues, but the largest has to be disease. When that is paired with the tropical and sub-tropical regions of India, disease can run rampant through the population and cause mass casualties.
Two diseases that are particularly detrimental to this region are malaria and cholera, both linked to water. Malaria is caused by a plasmodium parasite which is transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes. Mosquitoes reproduce on standing water which is abundant in India due to the climate and poor drainage system. Symptoms of malaria include chills, fever, and sweating, but the severity of the case depends on the strain. The bodies of water throughout India also provide for the reproduction of cholera caused by the virus, vibrio cholera, and causes severe dehydration and diarrhea. Both diseases are treatable through medical professionals and medication but lack of healthcare is a problem for the majority of the population so contracting these diseases often results in death. Cholera has been rampaging through India since the eighteenth century when ninety percent of the Bay of Bengals was cleared and developed to create a rice growing area to export to Europe. This began pandemics that still continue to the modern day. The pandemics used to range across the world but with the improvement of healthcare as well as more knowledge on the disease itself, with the help of the germ theory, pandemics have typically stayed local to this region. Cholera is an exclusively human disease while malaria is not as it is transferred from animal to human.
India has an extremely poor infrastructure even in its best cities. The population is the second largest in the world spread across land that is slightly more than one third the size of the United States, which accounts for its extreme overcrowding issues. Not to mention that India is a popular destination for companies to have factories and then import these products to their home countries as well as the tourism in India which can assist in the spread of disease worldwide,
So obviously it is no surprise that cholera ravages India’s massive population as it spreads through poor sanitation, overcrowding, and travel routes.
The government attempts to provide healthcare in India but mainly to the metropolitan area as opposed to the rural areas and even then it is only to those that can afford it. A United Nations report shows that “75% of the health infrastructure in India – including doctors and specialists and other health resources – is concentrated in urban areas where only 27% of India’s population lives.” Not to mention there is a shortage of healthcare specialist throughout the countries due to lack of proper schooling and opportunity for such. If India was to instill a set of regulations in order to sustain rural healthcare then they could convince private investors to assist in getting it all together and better their country, saving millions of lives each year. Other factors such as a clean and continuous water supply into hospitals and even a small common medical knowledge of the local people would be beneficial in saving the country’s people.
Goo discussion and good use of outside sources.