Medicine: Asiatic Cholera

As the stream of refugees boiled and eddied out of Burma last week, the roads to India were littered with stiff bodies, lying on their backs, their hands clutching the air. These were the corpses of cholera victims. In Mandalay (population, 135,000) alone the dread disease attacked 4,000 people.

Caused by comma-shaped bacteria known as Vibrio or Spirillum cholerae, which dwell in sewage-contaminated water, cholera drains body tissues of their fluids, causes intense vomiting, diarrhea and violent muscular spasms. More than a third of its victims shrivel up, turn dark grey or violet, die, sometimes within a few hours.

But there was no...

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