"Turning the Tide Against Cholera"

"A global pandemic rose from these swamps. Now scientists may have a way to stop it."

"Two hundred years ago, the first cholera pandemic emerged from these tiger-infested mangrove swamps.

It began in 1817, after the British East India Company sent thousands of workers deep into the remote Sundarbans, part of the Ganges River Delta, to log the jungles and plant rice. These brackish waters are the cradle of Vibrio cholerae, a bacterium that clings to human intestines and emits a toxin so virulent that the body will pour all of its fluids into the gut to flush it out.

Water loss turns victims ashen; their eyes sink into their sockets, and their blood turns black and congeals in their capillaries. Robbed of electrolytes, their hearts lose their beat. Victims die of shock and organ failure, sometimes in as little as six hours after the first abdominal rumblings."

Donald G. McNeil Jr. reports for the New York Times February 6, 2017, with photographs and video by Ismail Ferdous.

Source: NY Times, 02/07/2017