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Cholera terrified the people of Gateshead. It spread quickly and left most dead in hours or days. The Central Board of Health offered herbal treatments, which clearly did not work. Unscrupulous men saw the chance to make money – miracle cures were found, doctors grew rich on ineffectual treatment and high charges. Throughout the 1831/32 outbreak no cure was found, nor would it be until John Snow proved that it was a water born disease caused by infected water during the 1848 cholera epidemic.