"If fear wins, we are lost": when cholera regularly returned to kill in France

In March 1832, while Parisians began to walk in the parks again and were still happy to have applauded the first concert of the young Frédéric Chopin given in the Pleyel salons, a bacterium until then unknown in France fell on the capital.She has been traveling the world for two years; she left Indian Bengal, traveled to Persia, the Caspian Sea, Syria and Egypt, settled in Moscow and gradually invaded Europe: Poland, Germany, England ...

In an attempt to stop the epidemic, Casimir Perier, President of the Council of King Louis-Philippe, installed a disaster of health controls at the country's borders, in vain.The winter wind began to blow in March.month, cholera kills 18,400 Parisians and causes more than 100,000 deaths throughout the kingdom.

On March 29, 1832, “le Constitutionnel” wrote: “Cholera-Morbus is more dangerous than the plague.All climates are favorable to it; he poisons the air and walks with the winds; everywhere it spreads desolation and death, the sick experience convulsions, colic, the soul loses its strength, a burning heat devours them internally, and yet all the members are already frozen with the cold of death; around them a foul odor exhales from their mouths soiled with blood and vomited matter, then the parents, the friends, everything goes away, because two hours after the invasion of the evil, the dying person is no longer already than an object of horror and contagion."

The streets of Paris are emptying, the shops lower the curtains, the unsanitary districts are cleaned, the foul-smelling alleys closed, Chlorine is poured into the centers of contamination The rare passers-by protect their faces with a handkerchief The richest have fled the capital.Nothing helps.The corpses accumulate, the bacterium is transmitted by water, food and even sweat.The sick suffer from diarrhea and dehydration overwhelming.The epidemic is nicknamed the "blue fear Because of the cyanosis of the skin it causes.

Posted Date: 2020-10-07

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