Malaria wasn’t the only disease to affect the living and working conditions of Bytown. As the canal’s official opening neared in 1832, a cholera epidemic broke out. A severe intestinal bacteria infection contracted from contaminated drinking water or food, cholera debilitated Bytown and necessitated immediate action. Since cholera was present on many of the ships carrying immigrant workers to Canada, a special wharf, known as Cholera Wharf, was created in an effort to isolate those who had become infected. The sick were confined to the wharf for as long as it took for them either to become well, or to perish from the illness. Although this epidemic prompted the creation of the first Board of Health for Bytown, it also increased existing hostility towards immigrants, who were largely blamed for the outbreak of the disease.