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10 Common Waterborne Diseases and How to Prevent Them!

May 24, 2017

Waterborne diseases are a result of contaminated water. Pathogenic microorganisms thrive and reproduce in water sources. Bacteria, protozoa, viruses, and intestinal parasites are the most common microorganisms that cause waterborne diseases. Waterborne diseases lead to symptoms that are unpleasant to both body and mind.  For some of them, the treatment is easy. But in certain cases, if no form of sufficient medical treatment is provided it can be extremely fatal.

Here are the 10 common waterborne diseases

1. Diarrhoea

In India, diarrhoea is the most common waterborne disease. The victims are mostly children under the age of 5. This infection spreads through contaminated water or food and can last for up to 2 weeks. Dehydration, pale skin, dizziness, loss of consciousness and in certain cases bloody stools are the common symptoms.

2. Malarial fever

The plasmodium parasite mosquito is responsible for the spread of malaria. Water bodies such as lakes and stagnant water are the breeding areas of these harmful parasites. Fevers, headaches, body chills and vomiting are the symptoms of malaria. 

3. Amebiasis

Protozoa is the microorganism that causes amebiasis. The most common symptoms are diarrhoea, fatigue, abdominal discomfort, flatulence, and weight loss.

4. Cholera

This is a bacterial disease that leads to muscle cramps, severe dehydration, and diarrhoea and is spread by consuming contaminated water. Cholera is fatal if the patient is not treated at the right time. Treatment includes providing antibiotics and IV fluids.

5. Hepatitis

This waterborne disease is caused by a virus. Fever, jaundice, chills, abdominal discomfort and dark urine are the most common symptoms. 

6. Typhoid fever

The symptoms are a headache, fever, constipation, nausea, diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal rash, and loss of appetite. Typhoid is a bacterial infection, and the treatment involves fluids and antibiotics. 

7. Viral gastroenteritis

This stomach infection is contracted when you consume contaminated food or water or come in contact with an infected person. The symptoms of this viral infection are vomiting, gastrointestinal discomfort, headache, and fever.

8. Cryptosporidiosis

This disease is caused by protozoa and leads to both gastrointestinal and respiratory illness. Watery diarrhoea with or without repeated coughing are the major symptoms.

9. Filariasis

People who reside near sewages or unsanitary water bodies are affected by filariasis. The infection is spread mostly spread by mosquitoes. They’re the host for the harmful filarial nematode worm that affects humans and further leads to elephantiasis.

10. Shigellosis 

The bacteria Shigella is responsible for the infectious disease Shigellosis. People who are infected display symptoms such as fever, diarrhoea, and stomach cramps. 

How do you protect yourself from waterborne diseases?

– Never be under the impression that bottled water is always safe. Ensure that your bottle of water is always placed in a dry place. Keep it at room temperature or cooler and away from direct sunlight.

– If you suffer from a weak immune system, you need to ensure that the source of your drinking water is safe and pure. Individuals who are old, undergone an organ transplant or suffer from a chronic disease need to be extra careful.

– If you’re not certain about the purity of your drinking water, make sure to boil your water regularly. Simultaneously, as an alternative, you could get in touch with a trusted vendor for bottled water.

– You need to make sure that your water supply is not exposed to any kind pesticides or harsh chemicals. These harmful substances may lead to waterborne infections and other physical ailments.

– Install a high-quality water purifier that’ll get rid of the harmful microorganisms and harsh metals that are present in untreated water. This step will ensure that you have access to purified water every single day.

Waterborne diseases can cause serious physical ailments and if not treated properly or in time can lead to death as well. It’s important you pay attention to your daily water intake and consume only purified water. 

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