Investigating Causes of Cholera Outbreak in Shiraz during 1236 and 1322 Hijri (1820-1904 A.D.)

Document Type: Original Article



Cholera, also called morbidity and death illness under some other titles, spread nine times in Shiraz in an epidemic manner. The pathogen is Vibrio Cholera, and its source is contaminated water and food. Before 1236, the number of sufferers was very small in Shiraz. However, with the establishment of Qajar dynasty, the first outbreak took place in 1236 and left a large number of casualties through the years 1241, 1248, 1263, 1274, 1285, 1306, 1311 and 1322 Hijri. The outbreak was caused by both external and internal causes. With regard to external factors, pilgrimage and maritime traders contributed to this disease. This disease hit both Iraq and Saudi Arabia via India by Muslim Indian pilgrims and was transferred to the city after infecting Shirazi pilgrims. Moreover, traveling to India with the intention of trade and Indian trips to the Persian Gulf littoral states provided the transferring possibility of Vibrio Cholera to Bushehr and then to Shiraz. Internal parameters played a greater role in this outbreak. Lack of health care and clean water, ignorance of people and some false traditions as well as natural disasters such as earthquakes, locust invasion and the surge of famine were the main reasons which accelerated the outbreak of Cholera in Shiraz, reduced the ability of people to manage this catastrophe and consequently increased the mortality rate severely.