See water borne diseases list with causes. Water plays a crucial role in human life. However, it is a carrier of many diseases that are dangerous for our health and life. Being aware means being armed!
Diseases caused by water
Water is one of the essential substances on earth. Huge numbers of people suffer from shortage of quality drinking water. The poor-quality drinking water can induce poisoning or development of dangerous infections caused by viruses, parasites or bacteria. What are water borne diseases?
Human diseases that are associated with water are divided into three types:
- Diseases caused by water contaminated with pathogens: bacteria and viruses including typhoid, cholera, dysentery, polio, gastroenteritis, VIRAL hepatitis A;
- Diseases of the skin and mucous membranes arising from the use of contaminated water for washing such as trachoma and leprosy;
- Diseases caused by parasites living in the water like helminth as well as schistosomiasis and rishta.
Causes of water borne diseases:
- insufficient water;
- appropriate natural conditions for the spread and survival of infectious agents in environmental objects;
- contaminated water treatment facilities and water pipes;
- poor management sewer and treatment facilities;
- discharge of sewage into water bodies;
- failure to comply with the elementary rules of personal hygiene.
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List of water borne diseases
1. Infections caused by water
There are lots of water borne diseases. They include infections contracted by drinking contaminated water directly. The group of infections that can enter a human body with the water for bathing, hand washing or use for irrigation and technical purposes belongs to diseases caused by water.
2. Water poisoning
A large number of organic and inorganic compounds entering open waters and water intake zones can cause poisoning. Poisoning with mercury salts is the most dangerous. According to WHO, the permissible limits for the content of this substance in drinking water should not exceed 0.01 mg per liter. The use of drinking water with a high content of mercury for several months or years leads to chronic poisoning with its salts.
About 4.5 tons of mercury annually get into the atmosphere, soil, and water including drinking water. Penetrating water mercury ions form oxides or other compounds. They accumulate in a body, lead to poisoning and disruption of enzymes.
Cadmium is no less dangerous regarding poisoning, as the water can contain its toxic salts or oxides. They are also prone to accumulation in the human body and chronic poisoning. Cadmium poisoning is the most dangerous for those who live in industrial cities, where water sources are polluted with industrial waste.
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3. Waterborne viruses
The virus refers to a special form of life parasitic in living organisms. Viruses can be transmitted in various ways including by water. They can enter the human body when drinking untreated water or swimming in ponds with contaminated water.
The most common virus is adenovirus infection affecting the nasopharynx, eye’s mucous membranes, and the digestive tract. This virus also causes the development of bronchitis and pneumonia.
Hepatitis A can also be transmitted by water. It leads to weakness with fever. Besides, the virus damages the liver and causes pain in the abdomen, nausea, and jaundice.
The waterway transmission of such a dangerous disease as poliomyelitis is quite relevant too. Water polio outbreaks have been reported in many countries around the world. It should also be borne in mind that enteroviruses can spread through water, causing severe lesions of the intestines, central nervous system, skin and mucous membranes in humans.
In tropical countries including Nigeria, a dangerous virus causes the dengue and West Nile fevers. They have severe symptoms of intoxication, fever and skin rashes, lymph nodes, diarrhea, and vomiting. The mentioned above fevers can cause the development of coma and numerous lesions of internal organs.
4. Waterborne bacteria
Transmitted with water bacteria are no less dangerous. They can exist in the water for drinking and reservoirs for bath. The most dangerous bacteria are cholera vibrio. It causes severe and especially dangerous illness as well as E. coli which brings dysentery (shigellosis). E. coli bacteria cause severe diarrhea with dehydration and abdominal pain, nausea, and general malaise.
Salmonella bacterium is also dangerous. It can bring salmonellosis outbreaks. Such infection is especially dangerous for children and elderly and patients with chronic illness. Typhoid fevers bacteria belong to a special variety of salmonella. They are also transmitted by water. While the development of such disease, the digestive organs and lymph nodes of the abdominal cavity are affected. Prolonged diarrhea and fever, skin rashes also takes place here. The disease can lead to death without full value therapy.
5. Waterborne parasites
They include various types of worms - roundworm, pinworms, and some kinds of tapeworms. In African countries. These are schistosomes and rishtas. They penetrate the people’s skin in the water and intrude in the body affecting various internal organs. Schistosomiasis occurs when the parasite enters the body with the development of skin rashes, chills, muscle pain, fever, and damage to internal organs. Infection with rishta leads to the formation of dracunculiasis with allergic skin rashes on the body. Besides, it causes nausea, vomiting, diarrhea.
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- Check that the water is clean and does not contain impurities of silt or sand. Water can be passed through a filter to remove visible dirt. Drink only clean and safe water. It may be either clean drinking water or clear water where harmful microbes have been destroyed with the help of tablets or liquid for water purification. Do not drink unpurified water.
- When storing water, make sure that the content of microbes does not exceed the permissible level.
- Strictly follow the rules of hand hygiene. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after using the toilet and before cooking and eating.
- Wash products thoroughly and heat them to destroy harmful bacteria
- Get vaccinated to protect yourself against diseases.
To avoid the waterborne diseases, it is worth remembering that water for drinking and cooking should be taken only from centralized sources of drinking supply. If there is none in your place of living, you should filter and boil water, disinfect it in any possible ways. Besides, it is necessary to desist from bathing in questionable reservoirs with stagnant water. Take care of yourself and your family!