The environmental science issue highlighted in this film was a bacterium by the name of Cholera. Cholera is an infection of the small intestine that is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae
Symptoms of cholera infection may include: * Diarrhea. Cholera-related diarrhea comes on suddenly and may quickly cause dangerous fluid loss — as much as a quart (.95 liters) an hour. Diarrhea due to cholera often has a pale, milky appearance that resembles water in which rice has been rinsed (rice-water stool). * Nausea and vomiting. Occurring in both the early and later stages of cholera, vomiting may persist for hours at a time. * Dehydration. Dehydration can develop within hours after the onset of cholera symptoms. Depending on how many body fluids have been lost, dehydration can range from mild to severe. A loss of 10 percent or more of total body weight indicates severe dehydration.
The main character in the film, Walter Fane, is a doctor who specializes in studying bacteria. He travels to a small village in China that has been faced with an outbreak of Cholera. Although the village is in need of general physician Walter goes to the village to see if he can help find relief with his knowledge of bacteria.
Transmission is primarily due to the fecal contamination of food and water due to poor sanitation, however, the bacterium can live naturally in any environment. The village that Walter visits is very poor with very unhealthy living conditions. The water from their wells are filled with the bacteria as well as the water from the local river. The bacteria is not only being transmitted by food and water that is being cleaned by the infected water, but also from the infected villagers where their diarrhea discharge is allowed to get into the waterways or into the groundwater or drinking water supplies.
When Walter is forced to shut down a contaminated well in the