Randomly selected children of a rura village in East Bengal had daily recta swabbing and pre and post epidemic vibriocidal-antibody titrations performed during two successive cholera epidemics. During the first epidemic (1968-69), caused by the Classical/Inaba strain, participants living in the immediate vicinity of tube-wells had a much lower rate of infection (1 out of 27, or 3.7%) than those living farther away (19 out of 75, or 25.3%). During an epidemic the following year (1969-70), caused by the El Tor/Ogawa strain, there was no difference in the rates of infection of these two groups (16 out of 53, or 29.6%, and 37 out of 149, or 26.4%, respectively). This suggests that the relatively simple expedient of providing safe supplies of drinking-water, found so useful in controlling the spread of Classical strains of the disease, may prove ineffective against the El Tor biotype.
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