Cholera is a bacterial disease, causing severe diarrhea and dehydration, usually spread in water. It is an acute diarrheal disease that can kill within hours if left untreated. Cholera, believed spread from Irish immigrant ship(s) from England to the United States, spread throughout the Mississippi river system, killing over 4,500 in St. Louis and over 3,000 in New Orleans. Thousands died in New York, a major destination for Irish immigrants. Cholera left numerous children orphaned, and is the main reason that the Normandy orphanage opened in St. Louis, Missouri, where Sister Lucia was assigned to. Read about her influence in the chapter of my book titled: Normandy. The image below identifies the main symptoms of cholera.