Cholera arrived in New York City in June 1832. The city's population had grown to 250,000, many of which were recent immigrants living below 14th Street. The areas hardest hit by cholera were working class neighborhoods in Lower Manhattan. The epidemic killed around 3,500 people (a percentage of the population that would equal 100,000 people today). As British Physician John Snow had not yet discovered that cholera, an infectious bacterial disease, was transmitted through infected water supplies, rather than through the air, the poorest New Yorkers were blamed for the spread of the disease due to their weak character.
To learn more about the history of cholera, see the Doctors Without Borders video:
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