In the 19th century, cholera assaulted nearly every major country in the world. Vibrio cholerae, the bacteria that caused the disease, usually spread through contaminated water, and killed nearly half of those it infected. Cholera spread quickly in major cities, where sanitation was more of a problem. The first U.S. case of the disease was reported in New York City on this date in 1832. About 5,800 cases were recorded in the Big Apple between July 5 and August 29 of that year, resulting in more than 2,200 deaths. By the end of the century, cholera epidemics began to subside, as nations addressed public sanitation issues. Vaccination is only minimally effective in disease prevention. Aggressive replacement of body fluids that are lost due to the fulminant diarrhea is the mainstay of therapy.
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