New Insight into Predicting Cholera Epidemics in the Bengal Delta
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MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. – Cholera, an acute diarrheal disease caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, has reemerged as a global killer. Outbreaks typically occur once a year in Africa and Latin America. But in Bangladesh the epidemics occur twice a year – in the spring and again in the fall.
Scientists have tried, without much success, to determine the cause of these unique dual outbreaks – and advance early detection and prevention efforts – by analyzing such variables as precipitation, water temperature, fecal contamination and coastal salinity. Now, researchers from Tufts University, led by Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Shafiqul Islam, have proposed a link between cholera and fluctuating water levels in the region's three principal rivers – the Ganges, Brahmaputra and Meghna.
Tufts University School of Engineering is dedicated to educating the technological leaders of tomorrow. Located on Tufts' Medford/Somerville campus, the School of Engineering offers a rigorous engineering education in an environment characterized by the best blending of a liberal arts college atmosphere with the intellectual and technological resources of a world-class research university. Close collaboration with the School of Arts and Sciences and the university's extraordinary collection of excellent professional schools creates a wealth of educational and research opportunities. The School of Engineering's primary goal is to educate engineers committed to the innovative and ethical application of technology in the solution of societal problems. It also seeks to be a leader among peer institutions in targeted areas of interdisciplinary research and education that impact the well-being and sustainability of society, including bioengineering, sustainability and innovation in engineering education.