1. WATER BORNE DISEASES
Waterborne diseases are caused by a variety of microorganisms, biotoxins, and toxic
contaminants, which lead to devastating illnesses such as cholera, schistosomiasis and other
gastrointestinal problems; it was spread via contaminated water.
Transmission of these pathogens occurs while using infected water for drinking, food
preparation, and washing clothes, among others. Many developing countries do not have proper
water treatment plants, especially in the rural areas. In some places, the availability of water is so
scarce that people have neither the time nor the money to afford the water purifiers or other
water treatment mechanisms.
Outbreaks of waterborne diseases often occur after a severe precipitation event (rainfall,
snowfall). Because climate change increases the severity and frequency of some major
precipitation events, communities especially in the developing world could be faced with
elevated disease burden from waterborne diseases. In addition, diseases caused
by Vibrio bacteria such as cholera and other intestinal diseases may pose a greater threat due to
the effect that rising sea temperatures will have on the growth and spread of bacteria.
The pathogenic microorganisms, their toxic exudates, and other contaminants together, cause
serious conditions such as cholera, diarrhea, typhoid, amebiasis, hepatitis, gastroenteritis,
giardiasis, campylobacteriosis, scabies, and worm infections, to name a few.
The most common of all water-borne diseases, diarrhea, mainly affects children below
five years of age. The symptoms include dizziness, dehydration, pale skin, and loss of
consciousness in severe cases. It usually lasts for a couple of weeks and can turn out to be fatal if
it goes untreated. Diarrhea loose, watery and possibly more-frequent bowel movements are a
2. Luckily, diarrhea is usually short-lived, lasting no more than a few days. But, when diarrhea lasts
for weeks, it usually indicates that's there's another problem. If you have diarrhea for weeks or
longer, you may have a condition such as irritable bowel disorder, or a more serious disorder,
such as a persistent infection or inflammatory bowel disease.
➢ Viruses. Viruses that can cause diarrhea include Norwalk virus, cytomegalovirus and viral
hepatitis. Rotavirus is a common cause of acute childhood diarrhea. The virus that causes
coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has also been associated with gastrointestinal
symptoms, including nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
➢ Bacteria and parasites. Contaminated food or water can transmit bacteria and parasites to
your body. When traveling in developing countries, diarrhea caused by bacteria and parasites
is often called traveler's diarrhea. Clostridium difficile is another type of bacteria that can
cause serious infections that cause diarrhea, and it can occur after a course of antibiotics or
during a hospitalization.
➢ Loose, watery stools, abdominal cramps, abdominal pain, Fever, Blood in the stool, Mucus in
the stool, Bloating, Nausea, and Urgent need to have a bowel movement.
➢ Most cases of diarrhea clear on their own within a couple of days without treatment. If you've
tried lifestyle changes and home remedies for diarrhea without success, your doctor might
recommend medications or other treatments.
➢ Taking antibiotic
➢ Drinking lots of fluids.
3. 2. CHOLERA
Cholera is a bacterial disease usually spread through contaminated water. Cholera causes severe
diarrhea and dehydration. Left untreated, cholera can be fatal within hours, even in previously healthy
Modern sewage and water treatment have virtually eliminated cholera in industrialized countries.
But cholera still exists in Africa, Southeast Asia and Haiti. The risk of a cholera epidemic is
highest when poverty, war or natural disasters force people to live in crowded conditions without
A bacterium called Vibrio cholerae causes cholera infection. The deadly effects of the
disease are the result of a toxin the bacteria produces in the small intestine. The toxin causes the
body to secrete enormous amounts of water, leading to diarrhea and a rapid loss of fluids and
Cholera bacteria might not cause illness in all people who are exposed to them, but they still pass
the bacteria in their stool, which can contaminate food and water supplies.
Diarrhea, nausea & vomiting and dehydration.
Cholera occurs predominantly in children, but can also affect adults. It possesses a
mortality rate that is alarmingly high among the water-borne diseases. People with a suppressed
immunity, like those who are malnourished or infected with Human Immunodeficiency Virus
(HIV), are at a heightened risk of death if they’re infected with the bacteria.
➢ Rehydration. The goal is to replace lost fluids and electrolytes using a simple rehydration
solution, oral rehydration salts (ORS). The ORS solution is available as a powder that can be
made with boiled or bottled water. Without rehydration, approximately half the people with
cholera die. With treatment, fatalities drop to less than 1%.
4. ➢ Intravenous fluids. Most people with cholera can be helped by oral rehydration alone, but
severely dehydrated people might also need intravenous fluids.
➢ Antibiotics. While not a necessary part of cholera treatment, some antibiotics can reduce
cholera-related diarrhea and shorten how long it lasts in severely ill people.
➢ Zinc supplements. Research has shown that zinc might decrease diarrhea and shorten how
long it lasts in children with cholera.
Typhoid fever is caused by Salmonella typhi bacteria transmitted via contaminated water.
Prompt attention is needed to cure typhoid in the patient, as well as to prevent the spread of this
Typhoid fever is caused by dangerous bacteria called Salmonella typhi. Salmonella typhi
is related to the bacteria that cause salmonellosis, another serious intestinal infection, but they
aren't the same.
Fecal-oral transmission route - Most people in developed countries pick up typhoid bacteria
while they're traveling. Once they have been infected, they can spread it to others through the
This means that Salmonella typhi is passed in the feces and sometimes in the urine of infected
people. If you eat food that has been handled by someone who has typhoid fever and who hasn't
washed carefully after using the toilet, you can become infected.
In developing countries, where typhoid fever is established, most people become infected by
drinking contaminated water. The bacteria may also spread through contaminated food and
through direct contact with someone who is infected.
Typhoid carriers - Even after antibiotic treatment, a small number of people who recover from
typhoid fever continue to harbor the bacteria. These people, known as chronic carriers, no longer
have signs or symptoms of the disease themselves. However, they still shed the bacteria in their
feces and are capable of infecting others.
The patients typically suffer from prolonged episodes of fever, loss of appetite, nausea,
headache, constipation, and loss of body weight.
Antibiotic therapy is the only effective treatment for typhoid fever.
➢ Ciprofloxacin (Cipro). In the United States, doctors often prescribe this for adults who
aren't pregnant. Another similar drug called ofloxacin also may be used. Unfortunately,
many Salmonella typhi bacteria are no longer susceptible to antibiotics of this type,
particularly strains picked up in Southeast Asia.
➢ Azithromycin (Zithromax). This may be used if a person is unable to take ciprofloxacin or
the bacteria are resistant to ciprofloxacin.
➢ Ceftriaxone. This injectable antibiotic is an alternative in more-complicated or serious
infections and for people who may not be candidates for ciprofloxacin, such as children.
It is caused by a parasite named Entamoeba histolytica. The protozoan organism is
transmitted by unknowingly consuming cysts (an inactive form of the parasite) in food, and it
affects the intestine. The parasite thrives on contaminated soil and fecal matter. The common
symptoms of amoebiasis include abdominal cramps and watery stools.
E. histolytica can live in the large intestine (colon) without causing damage to the
intestine. In some cases, it invades the colon wall, causing colitis, acute dysentery, or long-term
(chronic) diarrhea. The infection can also spread through the bloodstream to the liver. In rare
cases, it can spread to the lungs, brain, or other organs.
This condition occurs worldwide. It is most common in tropical areas that have crowded living
conditions and poor sanitation. Africa, Mexico, parts of South America, and India has major
health problems due to this condition.
The symptoms often are quite mild and can include loose stools, stomach pain,
and stomach cramping. Amebic dysentery is a severe form of amebiasis associated with stomach
pain, bloody stools, and fever. Rarely, E. histolytica invades the liver and forms an abscess. Even
less commonly, it spreads to other parts of the body, such as the lungs or brain.
Gastrointestinal amebiasis is treated with nitroimidazole drugs, which kill amoebas in the
blood, in the wall of the intestine and in liver abscesses. These drugs include metronidazole
(Flagyl) and tinidazole (Tindamax, Fasigyn). Metronidazole usually is given for 10 days, either
by mouth or directly into the veins (intravenously). To kill amoebas and cysts confined to the
intestine, three drugs called luminal drugs are available: iodoquinol (Diquinol and others),
paromomycin (Humatin) and diloxanide furoate (Furamide). One of these drugs is used along
with metronidazole when gastrointestinal symptoms are present. In people who pass amoebas in
their stools without having symptoms of amebiasis, the luminal drugs alone can clear the
amoebas from the bowel.
5. HEPATITIS A
This condition mainly affects the liver and is caused by Hepatitis A virus. The route of
contamination is usually oral, while it also spreads through physical contact with an infected
person. Hepatitis A patients manifest common symptoms such as fever, nausea, and vomiting,
but can suffer severe complications if they’re not treated in time.
Hepatitis A is a highly contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitis A virus. The virus is one
of several types of hepatitis viruses that cause inflammation and affect your liver's ability to function.
You're most likely to get hepatitis A from contaminated food or water or from close contact with
a person or object that's infected. Mild cases of hepatitis A don't require treatment. Most people
who are infected recover completely with no permanent liver damage.
Fatigue, Sudden nausea and vomiting, Abdominal pain or discomfort, especially on the
upper right side beneath your lower ribs (by your liver), Clay-colored bowel movements, Loss of
appetite, Low-grade fever, Dark urine, Joint pain, Yellowing of the skin and the whites of your
eyes (jaundice), Intense itching
➢ Rest. Many people with hepatitis A infection feel tired and sick and have less energy.
➢ Manage nausea. Nausea can make it difficult to eat. Try snacking throughout the day rather
than eating full meals. To get enough calories, eat more high-calorie foods. For instance,
drink fruit juice or milk rather than water. Drinking plenty of fluids is important to prevent
dehydration if vomiting occurs.
➢ Avoid alcohol and use medications with care. Your liver may have difficulty processing
medications and alcohol. If you have hepatitis, don't drink alcohol. It can cause more liver
damage. Talk to your doctor about all the medications you take, including over-the-counter
Viral gastroenteritis is an intestinal infection marked by watery diarrhea, abdominal
cramps, nausea or vomiting, and sometimes fever. The most common way to develop viral
gastroenteritis often called stomach flu is through contact with an infected person or by
ingesting contaminated food or water.
➢ Noroviruses. Both children and adults are affected by noroviruses, the most common cause
of foodborne illness worldwide. Norovirus infection can sweep through families and
communities. It's especially likely to spread among people in confined spaces. In most
cases, you pick up the virus from contaminated food or water, although person-to-person
transmission also is possible.
➢ Rotavirus. Worldwide, this is the most common cause of viral gastroenteritis in children,
who are usually infected when they put their fingers or other objects contaminated with the
8. virus into their mouths. The infection is most severe in infants and young children. Adults
infected with rotavirus may not have symptoms, but can still spread the illness of particular
concern in institutional settings because infected adults unknowingly can pass the virus to
others. A vaccine against viral gastroenteritis is available in some countries, including the
United States, and appears to be effective in preventing the infection.
➢ Watery, usually nonbloody diarrhea — bloody diarrhea usually means you have a
different, more severe infection
➢ Abdominal cramps and pain
➢ Nausea, vomiting or both
➢ Occasional muscle aches or headache
➢ Low-grade fever
There's no effective treatment for viral gastroenteritis, so prevention is key. In addition to
avoiding food and water that may be contaminated, thorough and frequent hand-washings are
your best defense.
Precautions to prevent waterborne disease:
➢ Ensure the water is visibly clean and free from sand and silt. Filter the water to get rid of
➢ Drink only clean and safe water – either portable water or water filtered through water
➢ Get water purifying devices like filters, RO unit, etc., regularly serviced and maintained.
➢ Ensure stored water is germ-free.
➢ Add antiseptic liquid, such as Dettol in dubious-looking bathing water.
➢ Hand hygiene – regularly wash hands with soap after returning home, after using the
toilet, before and after preparing food, before eating or drinking anything.
➢ Teach hand hygiene to children. Children should make it a habit to always wash hands
when returning home after playing games.
9. ➢ Ensure food is washed and thoroughly cooked.
➢ Use disposable glass and plates whenever possible when eating outside food, particularly
➢ Avoid eating stale cooked food, unrefrigerated food kept exposed outside for long hours.
➢ Take vaccinations for immunization against preventable diseases like
Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Polio, etc.