Water borne diseases are caused by pathogenic microbes present in water. They may spread while drinking, washing, bathing. The water becomes contaminated due to pollution like chemical wastes from industries, garbage from homes being dumped into water bodies and untreated sewage. These contaminated water contain pathogens like bacteria and viruses which can cause significant effect on human beings. People living near water bodies are more prone to water borne diseases. These contaminated water leads to diseases such as
Cholera is caused by the bacterium namely Vibrio cholerae which is present in contaminated water. The symptoms of cholera include vomiting, thirst, leg cramps, profuse watery diarrhoea (rice-water stools), restlessness.
Diarrhoea is caused by bacterial or parasite pathogen namely Salmonella or Cryptosporidium . The symptoms of diarrhoea includes painful abdominal cramps, nausea, fever, bloating, generalised weakness.
Typhoid is caused by the bacteria called Salmonella typhi which is transmitted through contaminated water. The symptoms of typhoid includes high fever, headache, stomach pain, weakness, vomiting and loose stools.
Amoebiasis is caused by a parasite pathogen namely Entamoeba histolytica transmitted via contaminated water. The symptoms may not occur or may be mild with bloody stools, fever, liver abscess.
Hepatitis is of five types caused by five types of virus. They are Hepatitis A caused by Hepatitis A virus, Hepatitis B caused by Hepatitis B virus, Hepatitis C caused by Hepatitis C virus, Hepatitis D caused by Hepatitis D virus, Hepatitis E caused by Hepatitis E virus. The symptoms may include jaundice, nausea, abdominal pain, fatigue and fever.
- Gastroenteritis (Stomach flu)
Gastroenteritis is usually caused by virus or bacteria transmitted through contaminated water. The symptoms may include stomach pain, watery diarrhoea, vomiting, cramping, dry skin and mouth.
Giardiasis is caused by a parasite pathogen namely Giardia lamblia transmitted through contaminated water. The symptoms may include watery diarrhoea alternating with greasy stools, fatigue, cramps, loss of appetite.
Scabies is caused by a mite Sarcoptes scabiei that is transmitted through contaminated water. The symptoms of scabies include intense itching especially at night, a pimple-like rash, scales or blisters, sores caused by scratching.
- Store the water in a clean container and ensure that it is free from germs.
- Before using the water ensure that it is clear and free from sand, silts.
- Always drink filtered or purified water.
- Ensure whether the purifying devices like RO units, Purifiers, Filters are regularly serviced and maintained.
- Always boil water before drinking.
- Wash your hands properly with soap or handwash after using toilet.
- Drink bottled water during travels and avoid drinking contaminated water.
- Ensure that the pipes and tanks are properly maintained and cleaned.