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Few afflictions have attracted as much attention and impacted on as many societal and biomedical areas as cholera. Dr. John Snow's studies launched the field of epidemiology, were early applications of medical cartography, and promoted the use of statistical methods in medicine. The finding that cholera was due to the ingestion of contaminated water lent to the demise of the prevalent "miasmatic theory of contagion," set the platform for the "germ theory of disease," and promoted the growth of public health concerns for water purification and sanitation. More recent attention to this disease led to the notion of "secretory diarrhea" and the translation of basic principles to the development of oral rehydration therapy and its "spin-offs" (Gatorade and Pedilyte).
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