Waterborne Disease

WORLD Health Organisation (WHO) has been able to give an insight into to meaning and the classification of diseases. An unhealthy state of both the physical, mental and social condition of an organism which can either be a partial disorder, a breakdown of an organ, or a complete or total breakdown of an organism.
Waterborne diseases are caused by pathogenic micro-organisms (bacteria, protozoa, viruses) that are present in contaminated or dirty water. An intake (drinking) of contaminated water can give rise to numerous diseases like diarrhoea, cholera, Guinea worm, typhoid, dysentery etc. Water related diseases are the cause of 3.4 million deaths each year.
General waterborne bacterial diseases can cause a wide range of syndromes including: acute dehydrating diarrhea (cholera), prolonged febrile illness with abdominal symptoms (typhoid fever), acute bloody diarrhea (dysentery), and chronic diarrhea (Brainerd diarrhea).
Common Waterborne Disease
Cholera:
An infectious and often fatal disease caused by bacteria (bacterium Vibrio) which attacks the small intestine. Typically this bacterial disease is contracted from infected water supplies, contaminated food. Symptoms of cholera include: diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, weakness, seizes, skin turgor. Treatment of cholera generally involves identifying the source of the contamination and isolated it. Administering of oral rehydration therapy and antibiotics are efficient in treatment.
Guinea Worm Disease (GWD):
A non fatal and painful infection also known as dracunculiasis. Caused by the parasite Dracunculus medinesis. An intake of water contaminated by guinea worm larvae gives rise to GWD. Initially there are no symptoms for about a year, symptoms present much later as a painful burning feeling as the female worm forms a blister in the skin. Prevention generally involves avoiding water containing cyclops copepod (water flea), filtering and boiling drinking water. There is no vaccination or medicine for the treatment of guinea worm. Aim of treatment is extraction of the worm.
Typhoid fever:
Also known as simple typhoid. It is a bacterial infection that is due to “salmonella Typhi.” Symptoms can vary from mild to a severe manifestation and usually begins six to thirty days after exposure. Symptoms may include: diarrhea, weakness, abdominal pain, constipation, headache, vomiting, and skin rash (rose coloured spots).
Prevention involves keeping a good hygiene and sanitation. Vaccination helps to reduce and prevent about 30 per cent to 70 per cent of cases during the first two years.
Treatment ranges from oral rehydration therapy to the use of antibiotics or surgery depending on the severity of the illness.
Dysentery:
A type of gastroenteritis infection resulting in severe diarrhea with the presence of blood and mucus in the faeces. Dysentery is caused by several types of infections such as bacteria, viruses, parasitic worms, or protozoa. Symptoms generally presents as fever, abdominal pain, and a feeling of incomplete defecation.
The most common form of dysentery is bacillary dysentery, which is typically mild. Symptoms present as stomach pain, and excessive passing of stool. In extreme cases, dysentery patients may pass more than one litre of fluid per hour , feeling of nausea, frequent watery and usual foul smelling diarrhea accompanied by mucus, blood, rectal pain, rapid weight loss. In some cases amoebic parasite affects other organs of the body through the blood stream like the brain, liver and lungs. Treatment involves maintaining fluids by using oral rehydration therapy. Antibiotics can be used to kill associated bacteria while amoebicidal drugs to kill the patasite.
Cyclosporiasis:
Caused by infection with Cyclospora cayetanensis, a pathogenic protozoan transmitted by contaminated food and water or faeces. Symptoms presents as diarrhea, bloating, fever, stomach cramps, and muscle aches. The parasite responsible normally affects the jejunum of the small intestine. There is no vaccine available for humans only animals. The infection can be treated with trimethaprine – sulfamethaxozd. This disease cannot be transmitted from person to person, but an outbreak is possible due to food (fruit and vegetable) contaminating.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.