Water Borne Diseases: Protect Yourself & Your Family
Don’t Let Water Borne Diseases Ruin Your Life! Know The Types and How To Prevent Them
Water borne diseases are those that are carried on water. These diseases do not have physical contact with the host. There is no doubt that water borne diseases remain the leading cause of human morbidity and mortality.
The elimination of water borne diseases is a specific Millennium Goal target since 95% of these diseases are preventable. While sanitation and water treatment are well known, a lack of capital resources, leadership, and adequate priority settings prevent billions of people from accessing them.
The number of people who die due to waterborne disease each year is estimated at over 2 million. Outbreaks of infectious diseases occur frequently due to poor sanitation conditions and a lack of clean drinking water. In developing countries, where access to safe drinking water is limited, diarrhea kills 1 child out of 5 children under the age of 5 years.
Climate change affects human health in what ways?
Our planet faces a number of serious issues today, including climate change. Our climate has been changing since humans first appeared on Earth, and we’ve seen many changes throughout history. Today, scientists predict that global temperatures could rise anywhere between 1.5 and 4 degrees Fahrenheit over the next century.
A recent study published in The American Journal of Medicine shows that the average temperature around the world rose 0.8 degrees Celsius (1.4 degrees Fahrenheit) over the last 30 years — a trend expected to continue shortly. Researchers believe the increase in air pollution contributes to the rise in global warming, as does the use of fossil fuels like coal and oil. However, while some studies have shown a direct link between extreme weather events and human disease, others suggest that increased air pollution may lead to improved public health.
Global Warming’s Impact on Human Health
Human health is impacted by environmental factors, including exposure to toxins, allergens, pathogens, and pollutants. These exposures can trigger asthma attacks, respiratory problems, heart disease, cancer, birth defects, neurological damage, developmental delays, and death. Global warming could worsen these effects by increasing the frequency and intensity of natural disasters.
The World Health Organization reports that nearly 80 percent of the world’s population currently lives in countries where the average annual temperature exceeds 26 degrees Celsius (78 degrees Fahrenheit).
Types of most common Water borne diseases
What is typhoid fever?
A typhoid fever is elevated when Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi (S. Typhi) is present. S. Typhi is a gram-negative bacterium that causes intestinal infection. Symptoms of typhoid fever may appear anywhere from 2 days to 10 weeks after exposure to the bacteria. The majority of people who become infected do not experience any symptoms. However, some people develop diarrhea, vomiting, headache, muscle aches, stomach pain, chills, and high fevers. In rare cases, complications can occur, including kidney failure, intestinal perforation, and brain abscesses.
How does typhoid fever spread?
The disease spreads primarily through food and water contaminated with feces containing S. Typhi. Waterborne transmission occurs when fecal matter contaminates drinking water.
How do I prevent typhoid fever?
To reduce the risk of getting typhoid fever, wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If you prepare food, make sure to wash your hands before handling any raw meats or vegetables. Avoid eating undercooked eggs and shellfish. Don’t drink untreated water unless you know it’s safe.
- Cholera fever is a bacterial infection caused by Vibrio cholerae bacteria. Diarrhea, vomiting, and dehydration are common symptoms of the disease. In some cases, the disease can lead to death if not treated properly. Cholera is spread via contaminated food and water. Symptoms of cholera include sudden onset of profuse watery diarrhea, cramps, nausea, and vomiting.
- The symptoms of cholera are often confused with those of other gastrointestinal disorders including traveler’s diarrhea, gastroenteritis, and dysentery. However, unlike these conditions, cholera does not have any specific treatment and is generally fatal without proper medical care.
What is giardiasis?
Giardia is a protozoan parasite that causes gastrointestinal illness in humans and animals. Giardia is spread via contaminated water and food. Symptoms may include diarrhea, stomach cramps, bloating, fatigue, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, and dehydration.
How does giardiasis affect people?
Giardia affects both children and adults. In infants, symptoms may include diarrhea, flatulence, irritability, poor appetite, weight loss, failure to thrive, and abdominal distention. Older children and adults may experience similar symptoms, including abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, and weight loss.
How do I prevent giardiasis?
Preventing giardiasis requires proper hand washing after using the bathroom, before eating, and after playing in or swimming in potentially contaminated water. Avoid drinking untreated water.
How do I treat giardiasis?
Treatment includes prescription medication (metronidazole) and/or home remedies. Metronidazole is taken orally twice daily for 5 days. Home remedies include consuming garlic, ginger, onions, and lemons to help kill the parasites.
4. Escherichia Coli (E. coli)
What is E.coli?
E. coli is a naturally occurring bacterium found in human’s and animals intestines. It is commonly referred to as just “E. coli”. E. coli bacteria are often present in the environment and they are not harmful to people. However, some strains of E. coli can cause illness.
How do we get sick from E. coli?
Most people who become ill after eating food contaminated with E. coli have no symptoms at first. Symptoms may appear anywhere from 12 hours to several days later. These symptoms may include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, vomiting, fever, and bloody stools. Most people recover completely without treatment. But if left untreated, E. coli infection can lead to severe complications including kidney failure, dehydration, and death.
Why should I avoid E. coli?
E. coli bacteria can contaminate foods and water supplies. If you eat food that contains E. coli, you could get sick. You can also get sick if you drink water that has been contaminated with E. coli.
Can E. coli be killed?
Yes! There are many ways to kill E. coli. One way is to use chlorine bleach. Bleach kills E. coli by damaging its DNA. Another way to kill E. coli is to heat them to over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Heat destroys the structure of the E. coli cells.
Where does E. coli live?
E. coli can live in both fresh and saltwater environments.
What are the signs that our water supply is safe?
If your tap water looks clear and smells clean, then you probably don’t need to worry about E. coli. However, if your water looks cloudy or smells bad, you should consider boiling your water before drinking it. Boiling removes most of the E. coli bacteria.
Is E. coli dangerous?
No, E. coli is not dangerous. However, some strains can cause serious illnesses.
Dysentery is a disease happens by bacteria that attack the intestine. It causes diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, and blood in the stool. Dysentery is not contagious and occurs only in people who have weakened immune systems.
Symptoms: Symptoms of dysentery may appear anywhere from two days to three months after exposure. Symptoms start with diarrhea and may progress to bloody stools. Other symptoms include stomach cramps, headache, dizziness, and fever.
Causes: Dysentery is often caused by bacterial infections, including Shigella and Salmonella. Diarrhea-causing viruses (such as rotavirus) can also cause dysentery. In some cases, dysentery is caused by parasites.
Treatment: Treatment includes administering fluids and medications. Antibiotics can treat dysentery caused by certain types of bacteria. Antidiarrheal drugs help reduce the amount of fluid in the intestines, and antiemetics relieve nausea and vomiting.
Prevention: It is best to avoid getting dysentery if possible. If you do get dysentery, wash your hands frequently, drink plenty of water, and seek medical care right away.
What is Salmonella?
Salmonella is a bacterium that causes food poisoning. There are over 2,500 different types of salmonellas.
Where do they live?
They live in animals and humans. They can survive in water, soil, air, and food.
How do we get sick from them?
We get sick from eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water.
How many people die each year from Salmonella?
About 1 million people die each year from food-borne illnesses.
How does Salmonella affect us?
It affects our digestive systems. We may have diarrhea, stomach cramps, fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, and chills.
How do we treat Salmonella?
Treatment includes rest, fluids, and antibiotics.
Can we prevent getting sick from Salmonella?
Yes! Keep raw meat away from children and wash hands before preparing food.
7. Hepatitis A
Worldwide, hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver. Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, fatigue, fever, jaundice (yellowing of the eyes), and clay-colored stools. Most people recover completely without treatment, however, complications including acute hepatitis, cirrhosis, and death can occur.
Symptoms: Most people who contract Hepatitis A have no symptoms at first, but over time they develop flu-like symptoms and a red rash around their mouth. In rare cases, the disease causes severe liver damage and even death.
Prevention: There is currently only one vaccine available for Hepatitis A. However, the vaccine does not provide immunity from all strains of the virus.
Treatment: While antiviral medications can help treat Hepatitis A, there is no cure. Treatment involves taking medication for several weeks after the initial infection. There is no specific medicine for Hepatitis A; instead, patients receive supportive care and follow doctor’s orders.
What are the measures humans can take to prevent water-borne diseases?
There are many ways that we can help prevent the spread of water-borne illnesses. We should always make sure that our hands and ourselves are clean before handling food, drinking water, or using public restrooms. When using public restrooms, keep hand sanitizer easily accessible. Finally, wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly at home before consumption.
- Washing hands before eating/drinking
- Using hand sanitizer
- Drinking clean water
- Eating raw fruits and vegetables
- Cleaning supplies
- Sanitizing items
- Keeping pets away from sick people
In the end,
Contaminated water results in millions of mortalities worldwide every year. In addition, more than 1 billion people lack access to clean drinking water worldwide. One way governments can help improve this situation is by investing money into updating old infrastructure so that it meets current standards for cleanliness— this will decrease deaths caused by contaminated drinking water as well as lost labor productivity.
Water is an essential part of life on earth, however, if used incorrectly it can be detrimental to organisms instead of helping them. Deaths linked to contaminated drinking water happen daily around the world via sickness caused by different pathogens found in that water. Investing in updated infrastructure will help reduce this mortality rate while also decreasing trips made by people dealing with lethal infections via contaminated drinking water everywhere they go!