The primary need for a human being to survive on this planet is water. In order to stay healthy and fit, water is highly important. Almost every cell in your body needs water in order to function properly. Water plays a vital role in digestion, absorption of food, transport nutrients, and oxygen to every cell of the body and for flushing out waste from the body. Water helps in the proper functioning of every organ; however, water you drink should be pure otherwise it can be dangerous to our body if we drink polluted water. There are many diseases that can cause by drinking contaminated water which is known as water-borne diseases.
The health impacts of drinking polluted water can range from physical effects to illness or even death. Waterborne diseases are caused by pathogenic microorganisms such as virus, bacteria etc. that originate from human and animal waste
Deadly Water-Borne Diseases List
Water-related diseases are the world’s leading killer and every year, more than 3.4 people die due to waterborne illness. Such type of diseases are acquired by drinking contaminated water or the water that is not filtered and it has the bacterial presence. Impure water might contain chemical poisons like lead, arsenic and heavy metals can this can affect the digestive system. In India, thousands of people die due to common waterborne diseases like Typhoid, Cholera, Hepatitis A & E, Gastroenteritis and etc. Since such diseases are deadly, so let us study the diseases in details and what are the symptoms and precautions.
Cholera is an infectious acute diarrhoeal disease that causes infection in the intestine which results in extreme loss of body fluids and electrolytes and causes severe dehydration which can be fatal. Anyone can get this diseases by eating food or drinking water which is contaminated by the bacterium named Vibrio cholerae. This bacteria is found mostly found in food or water which are contaminated by the feces of an infected person. Every year around 3-3 million cases and around 100,000 death are reported around the world. Children are more susceptible to this deadly disease.
Symptoms of Cholera
The symptoms of this diseases start to show up after a couple of hours or it might take up to 5 days after getting the infection. The symptoms of cholera are often mild but can be severe. A person with cholera disease loses body fluids very quickly and became completely dehydrated which can be fatal if not treated promptly. One of the common symptoms of cholera are
- Profuse diarrhoea
- Low blood pressure
- Dry mouth & thirst
- Muscle Cramps
- Sunken eyes
- Dry skin
Treatment of Cholera
Cholera can be treated successfully by replacing fluids that are lost from the body through diarrhoea. Oral rehydration solution should be given to the patient, it is the normally used throughout the world to treat cholera. Since cholera can cause severe dehydration in the body which can lead to death if proper treatment should not be given. In severe cholera, the replacement of lost fluids from the body is done intravenously.
Prevention of Cholera
Water is the primary source of spreading cholera, therefore to prevent cholera, it is highly important for you to ensure that the water you drink is pure and safe for the consumption. You must drink only pure water which is free of impurities. Other measures that can be taken to prevent cholera are mentioned below:
- Wash your hand before you prepare food and after using bathroom
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water
- Avoid eating raw and undercooked meat
- Eat fruits and vegetable that can be peeled off
- Avoid eating street food
Diarrhoea is the most common waterborne disease in India. It is one of the major causes of childhood mortality in India. Anyone can get affected by diarrhoea but children under the age of 5 are more affected by this disease. According to WHO around 525,000 children below 5 years of age die every year due to diarrhea.
Diarrhoea is passing of loose watery bowel that happens more often than expected. It usually occurs by ingesting contaminated water and food. It is usually caused by bacteria, virus, and parasites that are found in contaminated drinking water and food.
Diarrhoea that lasts for 2-3 days is known as acute diarrhoea which is a very common condition that can affect people of all ages. If diarrhoea lasts for more than 3-4 week then it is referred as chronic diarrhea which can serious.
Symptoms of Diarrhoea
Diarrhoea itself is a symptom but it can be followed by the below-mentioned symptoms
- Stomach pain
- Weight loss
- Abdominal cramps
- Dry mouth and thirst
Treatment of Diarrhoea
Mild cases of acute diarrhoea can be treated with home care but for severe chronic diarrhoea, the patient should consult a doctor immediately. For all cases of diarrhoea, it is highly important to avoid dehydration by replacing the lost fluids and electrolytes in the body. To avoid dehydration, you need to drink plenty of pure water fresh juices. Dairy products must be avoided for at least 2-3 days. Children should be given ORS to rehydrate their body. In the case of severe diarrhoea, your doctor may give you antibiotics to help in resolving the symptoms of diarrhoea.
Prevention of Diarrhoea
The most important prevention of diarrhoea is to avoid coming into contact with such agents that can bring about the infections and can cause diarrhoea. This can be done by drinking pure water and healthy food. Diarrhoea is most common in areas having bad water quality and poor sanitation the following measures should be taken to prevent diarrhoea.
- Always wash hands thoroughly before using toilets
- Drink pure and safe water
- Avoid eating raw and uncooked food or seafood
- Always put the food in fridge that could spoil
Typhoid is also known as typhoid fever or enteric fever is another common waterborne disease in India. It is an acute illness which is associated with constant high fever and caused by the bacteria named Salmonella typhi. This bacteria is transmitted through water and food and found in the feces of the infected person. The transmission of this disease is always from human to human as no animals can carry this bacteria. If typhoid is not treated promptly, it can be fatal or can get worse within weeks.
Symptoms of Typhoid
The symptoms of typhoid begin to appear after 2-3 weeks of getting infected by the bacteria. It usually causes a constant high fever which usually high and gradually increases up to 104 F. There are usually two main symptoms of typhoid- high fever, and rashes. Other symptoms may include
- Abdominal pain
Treatment of Typhoid
Typhoid can be treated with antibiotics that kill the typhoid bacteria. It is possible that after 2-3 days of taking antibiotics, you may not experience the symptoms, still, it is possible that you carry the bacteria. For the complete removal of bacteria, it is very important that you must finish the complete course of medicines.
Prevention of Typhoid
The main preventive measure of typhoid is to avoid contaminated water and food. You must drink water which is safe and free from every bacteria and germ. The best way to avoid any waterborne disease it to maintain high standard hygiene as the areas with poor sanitation and quality of the water is very low are always at the risk of such diseases. Following measures should be taken in order to prevent typhoid:
- Always drink water which is pure and safe
- Vegetables and fruits should be thoroughly cleaned before eating or preparing food.
- Do not eat food or drink from street vendors
- Avoid raw fruits and vegetable
Hepatitis A is the most highly contagious liver infection that is caused by the hepatitis A virus. The virus causes inflammation and affects your liver’s ability to function. People are most likely to get hepatitis A by consuming contaminated food or water or by staying close contact with the person who is infected. Most of the people who are infected with this disease recover completely after taking medicines. By practicing good hygiene and by washing hands before eating can best protect you against hepatitis A.
Symptoms of Hepatitis A
Some of the symptoms and signs of Hepatitis A are mentioned below:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain
- Clay-colored bowel movements
- Loss of appetite
- Low-grade fever
- Dark urine
- Joint pain
The above-mentioned symptoms may be relatively mild and these might go away in a few weeks if you take necessary steps or medicines.
Treatment of Hepatitis A
Treatment of Hepatitis A would include supportive therapy that can easily improve the comfort levels and prevent complications like dehydration & exhaustion. Some of the treatments for Hepatitis A include
- Refilling nutrition and fluids
- Avoiding alcohol
- Complete rest
- You can take pain relievers if needed
Those patients that experience nausea and vomiting should go to the doctor and seek instant medication. Around 85% of people with HAV-infected gets fully within 3 months, and in most complicated issues gets recovery by 6 months.
Preventions of Hepatitis A
By using hepatitis A vaccine you can prevent infection. The vaccine is given in two shots, where the first one is followed by a booster shot after 6 months.
- For the children from age 1, or older children should take the Hepatitis A vaccine if they have didn’t receive the childhood vaccine
- One should take the vaccine if he/she come in contact with any other hepatitis A person
- Stay protected if you are working or traveling in parts of the world this disease is common
Besides, if you are concerned about your risk of hepatitis A, it is better than contact with your doctor ask if you should be vaccinated to stay protected from Hepatitis A.
Giardiasis is an intestinal infection that is mainly caused by a microscopic, single-celled parasite Giardia lamblia. The parasite is an organism that lives on or inside another organism and these are typically found in lakes, streams, or ponds, where the water gets contaminated by human, muskrat, dog, or beaver feces. Giardia lamblia is one of the most common human parasitic infections, where clean water supplies are low and the risk of contracting the infection is high.
Symptoms of Giardia
Talking about the symptoms, you would find that some people those with giardia infection might not develop any of infection but they might still carry the parasite. The infected person can spread the disease to others through their stool. Some of the symptoms of Giardia that once can experience are mentioned below:
- Watery and foul-smelling greasy stool
- Fatigue or malaise
- Abdominal cramps
- Gas or flatulence
- Nausea and Weight loss
Treatment of Giardia
As the disease can spread quickly, your doctor would suggest you not to stay in contact with the person who is affected by this disease. Your doctor might also suggest you take your medication depending on the severity of your illness. Besides, it is also very important that you should drink enough water and electrolyte-rich drinks to recover the losing water due to diarrhoea.
Preventions of Giardia
In order to stay protected from Giardia, you can opt some precautions, which will reduce the chances of getting infected.
- You should wash your hands after using the toilet or changing diapers and this is the simplest and best way to prevent infection of Giardia.
- Avoid drinking untreated water either boil it or filter it before consuming.
- Do not swallow water when you are swimming in pools, lakes or streams.
The Bottom Line
Pure and safe drinking water is very much needed to decrease the spread of many water-borne diseases. In fact, this diseases can only be decreased by making the drinking water pure and free from all the contaminants. To make that possible you must have a water purifier in your home to get pure drinking water. You should not take your water purifier for granted, so make sure the water purifier you buy is of high quality and well-known for its performance. Luckily modern technology had given us many methods for purifying the water. Installing a water purifier in your home will give you a peace of mind that the water you drink is safe.