Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Cholera pandemic has a single global source

A major cholera pandemic has spread in at least three waves from a single global source: the Bay of Bengal.

A study in Nature reveals cholera's spread over the last 60 years into Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas, continent-hopping on long-haul flights.

The research by a team from Cambridge's Sanger Institute showed the infection is evolving, with the newest waves showing antibiotic resistance.

A UK expert said it was "a scandal" cholera was still affecting people.

Cholera is a bacterial infection of the intestine that causes diarrhoea. It affects 3-5m people annually in 56 countries, killing between100,000 and 150,000.

If untreated, it can kill within hours through dehydration. It is easily treated by drinking clean water, but without this, severe cases have a 30-50% mortality rate. more