Elakeya Udhaya I am a young Physician Associate by career but always love to write! I expertise in medical writing, nutrition, cooking, and even travel and food.

Waterborne Diseases!- The Hidden Treat Of Your Daily Water!

3 min read

Excuse me, friend! This article is definitely going to bring bad news for you cuz I’m going to speak about waterborne diseases! But before that, let me speak about water scarcity!

Water! One of the planet’s treasurable resources for living things. Did you know that 97.5% of the earth’s water is salty and only 2.5% is freshwater? Yet over 2/3 rd of the freshwater resources are locked up in glaciers and polar caps.

The remaining fraction of 0.5% is in the lakes, rivers, and groundwater for agricultural, industrial, and personal use. The most astonishing fact is this minimal percentage has a mini percentage to cause waterborne diseases!

According to the WHO, only 0.007 % of water is safe for consumption, and over 7 billion living beings share this proper amount. However, this water is not distributed evenly throughout the world.

Unfortunately, 1.2 billion people from India, Southern US, Africa, Spain, and Northern China are suffering from water scarcity. On the other hand, the planet is getting thirsty day by day.

Coming out of the trifling statistics, I have some scariest statistics to let you know! I came across the headline “ 80% of India’s surface what may be polluted” by the Times Of India”.

Deccan Herald shows that groundwater in India’s 600 districts is not fit for drinking. Additionally, they have been found with dangerous levels of fluoride, iron, arsenic, and salinity.

The United Nations have ranked India’s water quality at the 120th rank among 122 nations and 75.8 millions of people are not getting access to safe drinking water! Doesn’t that sound horrific?

How Does This Poor Water Quality Affect India?

I haven’t finished yet! It is estimated that 37.7 million Indian lives are lost due to getting affected by waterborne diseases ANNUALLY! The most pitiful thing is that 1.5 million children die to diarrhea alone!

Furthermore, UNICEF and Food and Agricultural organization report that about 45% of India’s children are stunted. Over 600,000 children under 5 die each year due to inadequate water supply and poor sanitation. Take a deep breath!

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How People Are Getting Affected By Waterborne Diseases?

1. Typhoid

Also known as Enteric fever, this is a bacterial disease caused by the introduction of contaminated food and water which contains the bacterium “Salmonella Typhi.”

Symptoms

  • Fever that starts slow and increases up to  104.9°C
  • Headache
  • Muscle ache
  • Fatigue
  • Dry cough
  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhoea or Constipation
  • Abdominal pain associated with extreme swelling

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2. Cholera

Secondly, this is an acute diarrhoeal water-borne disease that can kill within hours if untreated. Ingestion of contaminated water which contains a bacterium vibrio cholera results in cholera.

WHO states that up to 80% of the cases can be successfully treated with oral rehydration solution and are treated immediately.

Symptoms

  • It takes about 12 hours for the person to be symptomatic.
  • Acute watery diarrhea
  • Severe dehydration
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain in the abdomen

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3. Filariasis

Thirdly, this is a parasitic disease that affects most people living near the sewages and unsanitary water bodies. The infection with roundworms of filarioidea type causes this waterborne disease.

Symptoms

  • Swelling lymph nodes
  • Body ache
  • Shaking chills
  • Fever

Some people don’t develop symptoms.

4.  Viral Gastroenteritis (stomach flu)

This is one of the most important waterborne diseases which causes infection in the intestine.
This can easily recover people with a stronger immune system but can be deadly with immunocompromised people.

Symptoms

  • Watery diarrhea (appears bloody in severe cases)
  • Abdominal cramps and pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Low-grade fever
  • Muscle ache

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5. Diarrhoeal Disease

Unfortunately, an estimated 2 billion cases of diarrhoeal diseases occur each year and it mainly affects the gastrointestinal tract. The most common causative agent are salmonella, shigella, and E.coli.

Symptoms

  • Abnormally loose or watery stools
  • Severe dehydration
  • Decreased urination
  • Sunken eyes
  • Fatigue

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6. Malaria

Malaria is a parasitic infection that is transmitted by mosquitoes. These mosquitoes breed in fresh or occasionally brackish water. Therefore, people get affected after being bitten by the malaria-infected female anopheles mosquito.

Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Muscle ache
  • Diarrhoea
  • Anaemia
  • Jaundice
  • Nausea and vomiting

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7. Hepatitis A

Last but not least, Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection caused by the hepatic virus. A person will develop chances to get hepatitis A due to close contact with an infected person or contaminated food and water.

Symptoms

  • Low-grade fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Joint pain
  • Clay-colored stools
  • Jaundice

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Word Of Caution

If you develop any of these symptoms, consult with your physician immediately!

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How To Prevent Waterborne Diseases?

  • If you aren’t sure of the purity of drinking water, start to boil water regularly.
  • You should do handwashing after food, using the toilet, and teach your children about hand hygiene and proper toilet training.
  • Consume home-cooked foods and avoid eating street food because contamination is the major reason for waterborne diseases.
  • Use hot water and detergent to clean the toilet at least twice a week.
  • The study mentions that water stored in copper containers is effective in killing e.coli, shigella, flexnari, and vibrio cholera. Get the best quality of standard copper vessels at exclusive prices now!
  • Don’t forget to take vaccinations for immunizations against typhoid, Hepatitis A, etc. up to date.

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Voice Of A Victim

As revealed by SwachhIndia “They died because of the water problem, nothing else,” wept Sushila Devi who paid the highest price of two lives which took away the lives of her husband and son.

“Now, it’s better but earlier the water is used to be too rusty and we can’t even wash our hands,” she told.

To conclude, India is lying is the worst situation where victims used to pay the price of lives to get safe drinking water. Remember, Devi is not the only one who is affected by life-threatening water-borne diseases!

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Reference Links:

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Elakeya Udhaya I am a young Physician Associate by career but always love to write! I expertise in medical writing, nutrition, cooking, and even travel and food.

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