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    Posted July 23, 2014 by
    bangalore, India
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    Waterborne Diseases and Symptoms


    In most water systems live some of the most complex and dangerous organisms known to human health. All around the world the struggle to get fresh, clean water has been paramount to the development of a country and civilization. Parasites and waterborne illnesses are the largest killer around the globe, and no country, however developed, is entirely safe. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) more than 3.4 million people die each year from a water-related malady, making it the leading cause of disease and death in the world. A majority of those killed are young children, infected by microscopic organisms who dwell in water often contaminated by raw sewage. According to a study done by the United Nations, 4,000 children die each day from filthy water, the majority of them while living in Asia and Africa.

    Common Bacterial Infections

    Cholera is a common waterborne disease, caused by bacteria which creates an infection in the small intestine. Dehydration is the most dangerous of health-related problems caused by this infection, which upsets the digestive system and induces vomiting and diarrhea. While an adult body has some resilience when dealing with dehydration, it's much easier for a child to succumb to the dangers. Other organisms and waterborne diseases are just as serious. In 2002, there were more than 100,000 reported instances of cholera around the world, and many more which went unreported. Other common illnesses cause by bacterial infections which show the same signs and symptoms include typhoid fever and hepatitis A.

    Parasitic Organisms

    Other waterborne infections are not caused by the bacteria int he water, but by other organisms—namely parasites—who use unclean water to spawn. An example of these parasitic infections include Malaria, transmitted by mosquito bites. Mosquitoes need stale, stagnant water in order to spawn, and poor water conditions magnify the occurrence of this disease. Malaria induces high fever, chills and may progress to convulsions, respiratory failure, coma, or death. Schistosomiasis is an infection caused by parasitic worms and their eggs which inhabit water. They penetrate the skin of individuals who go swimming in, or bathe themselves in unsanitary conditions, and cause infection. They most commonly infect the major organs of the body, including the lungs, bladder, intestines, and the liver. Schistosomiasis can cause high blood count, the appearance of genital sores, vomiting, diarrhea, and severe abdominal cramping, leading to long-term health problems for those infected. If untreated, those infected may experience organ failure and ultimately, death.

    Killers in the Kitchen

    No country is safe from bacterial or parasitic infection, and even in the developed world with improved water conditions, and water treatment centers, waterborne illness can still be common. Some of the most common are E. Coli and Salmonella, usually spread by cross-contamination of infected poultry or eggs. E. Coli infects the lower intestine, and causes symptoms which are most commonly referred to as "food poisoning," and include episodes of vomiting, diarrhea, and general fatigue. These waterborne illnesses can be prevented through proper sanitation, proper cooking of meat or eggs, and refraining from cross-contamination of other food products. It's important to establish a water source away from sewer lines, and to properly treat water by boiling and filtering it to kill the bacterial organisms.

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