The result of an individual suffering from any form of water-borne disease is because of consuming contaminated water or consuming food being washed with contaminated water. Some of the effects of water-borne diseases are Hepatitis A and C hookworms, ringworms, cholera, typhoid fever etc.
So, how does water pollution occur? It occurs when industrial waste, human waste, garbage and animal waste enter the rivers or lakes, thus killing water life forms including humans consuming that water. This article will take you through the very existence and prevention of some of the world’s most deadliest water-borne diseases caused.
Facts About Water-Borne Diseases
Everyone knows the cause of water-borne disease, but what matters the most is how is this disease affecting the world at large. Here are some interesting facts that you need to know about water-borne diseases.
- In a recent study by the World Health Organisation (WHO) states that 80% of most diseases that occur worldwide are water-borne diseases.
- 3.1% of the deaths worldwide are due to unhygienic water.
- On average, 1 lakh people every year in India due to water-borne diseases.
- One-third of the 600 district’s groundwater in India are unfit for drinking because it contains high levels of fluoride, iron and arsenic levels that are beyond tolerance levels.
Effects of Water-Borne Diseases
Ranging from diarrhoea to meningitis, water-borne diseases affect the human body in numerous ways and can leave the individual with a life-threatening illness. Here are some of the effects of water-borne diseases and their fatalities on the individual’s life.
Typhoid fever caused due to food washed with contaminated water and can turn out to be life-threatening for the person suffering from it. Some of its symptoms include prolonged headache, high fever, loss of appetite, nausea, constipation, joint pain and in most cases diarrhoea. This fever is caused by Salmonella Typhi virus found in contaminated water and once this virus enters your bloodstream, it tends to multiply quickly leading to high fever. In its severest form, typhoid fever may leave the person with rashes that appear like tiny red dots near the abdomen region. These red dots are also called rose spots.
This disease is usually caused by an infection in your intestine. So how does a person get affected with cholera? Well, this water-borne disease is caused due to ice made from contaminated water, street sold food, uncooked seafood etc. If a person consumes contaminated food or water, the bacteria will release toxins in your intestine that will result in diarrhoea. In its severest form, cholera may lead to dehydration, watery diarrhoea including death in few hours.
Hepatitis A is a disease that affects your liver that spreads from contaminated food, water or even when you get in contact with another person who is infected. A person suffering from Hepatitis A will face symptoms such as nausea, severe abdominal pain, fatigue and low-grade fever that will leave the person bedridden for a minimum of 2 months. Hepatitis A also causes jaundice, yellow skin, dark urine and severe vomiting. In order to treat this, you will have to take adequate rest and keep yourself hydrated.
This disease causes inflammation in your intestine that can lead to severe abdominal pain, diarrhoea, high fever and a feeling of incomplete bowel movements. Contaminated water can cause dysentery and you may have blood diarrhoea if the disease is in its extreme form. You don’t want to get into such a situation because treating blood diarrhoea can be time-consuming and painful at times. You will be put on IV fluids, liquid diet and antibiotics.
This water-borne disease is caused by a bacteria that is found in contaminated water called Chlamydia Trachomatis. The inner layer of your eyelids get rough and causes severe pain, cornea or in worse cases even blindness. It is usually caused due to poor hygiene and contaminated water and thus it falls under the category of water-borne diseases.
This chronic sickness is the result of consuming contaminated water, thereby causing drowsiness, severe headaches, confused state of mind, severe diarrhoea. All these symptoms will begin showing in 30 minutes. A person suffering from arsenic poisoning will face problems such as muscle cramps, excess saliva, bloody urine, severe hair loss, excessive sweating and vomiting. Well, you would not want to get into such a mess! So make sure that you consume good drinking water and live healthy.
This is an infection that is caused by the shigella bacteria that causes bloody stools and severe diarrhoea. This disease is usually spread when a person does not wash their hands after changing a child’s diaper, or it can also be passed through contaminated food or even by swimming in contaminated water. This water-borne disease causes severe fever, abdominal pain and cramps and blood come mucus stools with can be fatal for the person’s life.
Malaria, one of the leading causes of deaths in India has been around in most villages and cities in the country. This water-borne disease has a tendency to spread from person to person. A person suffering from this disease will face symptoms such as high fever and shivering sensation including severe headache. In severest form, this disease can cause severe medical complications such as anaemia, coma or even death.
This type of infection is caused due to water contamination containing lead. You must be wondering what is lead and how bad is it for the human body? Well, lead is a harmful particle that can cause organ damage, high blood pressure, kidney-related problems that can prove to be dangerous in the future. So how does a person get affected by lead? Lead is a harmful chemical found in contaminated and it can affect a person while drawing water from old pipes.
Also known as infant paralysis, this disease is spread through contaminated water and food or in cases when a person gets in contact with an infected person. This disease affects a person’s spinal cord thereby causing muscle weakness and in extreme cases paralysis. However, this disease has become a rarely occurring phenomenon in India. It has the ability to affect a person by mouth and usually hands that have been contaminated with the stools of another person.
Preventive Measures of Water-Borne Diseases
Like the most famous saying that prevention is better than cure, taking cautionary measures before any illness hits you badly, it is of utmost priority. The first thing that you can do is to consume good drinking water and practice hygienic ways at home. However, here is what you need to do to keep yourself safe from any kind of water-borne disease.
- Make sure that you consume water that is free from silt, dirt or sand particles.
- Drink water that is purified from water purifiers.
- Always develop hygienic practices of washing your hands before and after any meal.
- To ensure that your child stays safe from harmful disease makes sure that they wash their hands after they finish playing their games or when they enter the house.
- Make sure that the food is washed properly before you cook them. Also, washing food with contaminated water can lead to serious sickness that can turn out to be fatal for you and your family.
- You can also vaccinate yourself from water-borne diseases such as Hepatitis A and typhoid fever.
- Make it a point to use disposable glasses and plates if you are consuming outside food.
- Avoid consuming previously prepared food as this may lead to food poisoning.
- Also, make it a point to get your water purifiers serviced as most purifying filters in these systems need servicing very often.
Note: If you are of the assumption that water-borne illnesses happen only in the rural places of India, you may be wrong! These illnesses can affect anyone at any place and all you need to do is to take preventive measures and safeguard yourself from it. Follow the above-listed preventive tips and stay safe.
Most water-borne disease can turn out to be a plague that can kill many in a short time. However, you need to make sure that you stay safe this monsoon and practice good hygiene that will ensure that you and your family stay safe. Also, keep in mind that prevention is better than cure and caution your surroundings, may it be your friends or relatives on the effects of water-borne diseases.
Monsoon season is the main time when most water-borne diseases happen in India and this is due to the fact that sewerage mixes with the ground source of water. This causes deadly disease that can turn out to be a nightmare for the one suffering from it. Here are some frequently asked questions that will shed some light on this topic.
- Which is the world’s most common water-borne disease?
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) Cholera, Typhoid Fever and dysentery result in 3.4 million deaths every year turning out to be some of the world’s most dangerous water-borne diseases.
- How does sewage water cause water-borne diseases?
Groundwater source is said to be a good source of drinking water, but there is a problem when sewage water gets mixed, this lead to people suffering from a wide range of diseases that can be dangerous. This may not be visible to the naked eye, but washing food with contaminated water can trigger the start and spread of water-borne disease as well as any sort of illness.
- How does climate change cause water-borne diseases?
Most water-borne diseases occur during the monsoon season and this is a result of climate change. For eg. Once it rains, you may find a lot of mosquitoes around stagnant water and this becomes a breeding place for them. However, this is one way in which malaria or dengue could spread at large. You need to take preventive measures in order to stay safe. Thus climatic change can cause water-borne illnesses that are dangerous.