Water is a crucial element for life. However, even though we have entered a new level of global development, the threat of bacteria, invading our bodies by water is still very relevant. In fact, there are more than 10 virulent waterborne disease forms that could drive us to death.
Microbiology of Waterborne Diseases: Microbiological Aspects and Risks
Thus, it is worth the time and attention to literate ourselves on how to distinguish the symptoms and act accordingly. On another note, knowing which water sources are more likely to cause you severe problems, will shoot you miles ahead in adopting the best ways for self-care and prevention.
We are constantly hit by top experts advice on drinking at least 8 glasses of water per day and how it is all about the proper hydration. Indeed, our inner system requires water to function and we cannot go without this amazing and irreplaceable element. But what about the possible dangers?
One of the biggest myths, surrounding waterborne disease, is that the problems, caused by polluted water affect predominantly people from countries, which lack behind in their development. On the contrary, nobody is safe from infection, transmitted by water. Check out some of the most common ways you can get affected by a virulent waterborne disease and keep these in mind so that you can be completely alert.
1. Lack of proper sanitary conditions
Even though low sanitary conditions might seem very abstract and distant to our daily life routines, the threat is not to be underestimated. That’s because most of the time, the hygienic disorders in the surrounding environment will be invisible to the eye.
During particular repair or maintenance work on water pipes and channels can cause dangerous bacteria to invade the water sources we are using. These sources can be near or around your living or working space, and so nobody is insured against the lethal threats.
2. Consumption of contaminated food
On another note, the poisonous microorganisms are strong enough to penetrate the body through food, which has been prepared with polluted water. Thus, even if you do filter the water you drink daily and pay attention to the sources you choose, things can still go wrong in the blink of an eye.
Moreover, contaminated water used for food preparation can come from just about any place, where you can buy food which is already available to dig in.
And the Waters Turned to Blood
3. Contamination passed from the hands to the mouth
In case you have got in touch with infected water for washing your hands before eating, this can also lead to the spreading of a waterborne disease. Nonetheless, eating with dirty hands is another reason for contamination with pathogenic bacteria.
Unfortunately, these microorganisms are so potent, that even when we think our hands are clean, all it takes is a single powerful bacteria left, which is enough to cause us severe problems.
4. Infection through clothes and utensils
As mentioned above, the deadly bacteria is present once the contaminated water gets in touch with you, and it doesn’t only affect the body from drinking water or consuming contaminated food.
If you have been washing your kitchen utensils with polluted water without realizing, you can still get exposed to waterborne diseases. What’s more, even the clothes which are put in the laundry and then processed with infected water can transfer the bacteria into your body.
5. The threat of stagnant water
Stagnant water is probably the last thing you have on your mind, however, the threats associated with such sources are no less lethal than the ones, listed above. Stagnant water can appear near the place where you live in, without you even noticing.
Thus, if you inhabit regions where the landscape and/or meteorological conditions allow water to get stored and not drained well, you need to be fully alert and take precaution measurements, such as filtering all the water you use on a daily basis.
Now you might be wondering which are those nasty invaders that can cause more than 10 virulent waterborne diseases which could drive us to death?
We have prepared a list of the life-threatening bacterias which are most commonly found in contaminated water. Moreover, we have included the following symptoms of contamination which need to raise your attention immediately if you notice anything off the track. Prevention remains the greatest weapon against lethal bacteria, though.
10 Virulent Waterborne Disease Could Drive us To Death
Cholera: The Biography (Biographies of Diseases)
Vibrio cholerae is the bacteria which causes Cholera. Cholera is an illness, developed by the bacteria’s attaching to humans’ intestine. Each year more than 3 million cases of Cholera infection hit people of all ages and gender.
Unfortunately, an average of 100 000 people die because of the Vibrio cholerae contamination every year. Without a suitable treatment, the lethal effect can take place within a few hours. The death-causing bacteria can be found in all kinds of poorly hygienic water sources, and it spreads by feces from other people, carrying the disease.
Nevertheless, even raw shellfish can transmit the disease, together with eating any other contaminated food. The symptoms can often be unnoticed or very mild. The more severe conditions include vomiting, diarrhea, and leg cramps.
2. Typhoid Fever
Typhoid Fever: A History
Salmonella typhi is the bacteria, which leads to developing the conditions, known as Typhoid Fever. Much like the Vibrio cholerae contamination, Salmonella typhi can enter the human body by eating or drinking infected food or water. However, this type of bacteria tends to grow both in the intestines and the blood.
The symptoms might be barely-there or very delicate, which makes the lethal disease hard to notice in the beginning. It might take from six and up to thirty days before any severe issues appear. The high fever, associated with the disease tends to take place gradually over a few days.
Other alarming symptoms include muscle weakness, fatigue, headaches and abdominal pains. Sometimes a rash can also appear on the patient’s body, colored in rose-colored spots.
The disease affects mostly children and adults in their early 20s, but it is not solely limited to these cases. Back in 2013, Thypoid fever ended up with lethal consequences for more than 160 000 people globally. Nowadays, with the prompt treatment, the disease is curable, however, chronic infections can develop and last for a lifetime.
Shigella bacterium is one of the primary causes of Dysentery. On another note, an amoeba invading the bloodstream can also lead to developing Dysentery. Much like the previous two waterborne diseases on this list, a person can get infected by drinking contaminated water or eating contaminated food from sources with poor hygiene. The infection passes by feces left in water sources by people, who carry the same lethal bacteria.
Dysentery has become a major threat to refugee populations. It can easily turn into epidemy and spread from person to person. Being highly resistant to antibiotics, this lethal disease has caused more than 600 000 deaths worldwide each year.
The symptoms include fever, abdominal pains, as well as the passage of feces with blood and/or mucus. However, for more than half of the deaths caused by the Shigella bacteria, none of the patients reported blood stools. Instead, people may notice the release of a foul-smell, as well as a yellowish slimy substance upon going to the toilet. Amoebic dysentery can also turn into developing amoebic abscesses in the liver and brain.
Botulism (Epidemics: Deadly Diseases Throughout History)
Clostridium Botulinum bacteria is the cause of one of the most lethal and potent neurotoxins – the Botulism neurotoxin. That particular neurotoxin leads to paralysing the muscles of the affected patients. By eating or drinking contaminated food and/or beverages, the mortal bacteria can invade the human’s body by infecting a wound. Afterward, the dangerous neurotoxin is released.
In fact, the Botulism neurotoxin is so powerful that it has been listed as part of the most dangerous potential biological weapons to date. Even a very tiny amount of contaminated food or drinks can be more than enough to cause Botulism, as the neurotoxin is absorbed very fast by the digestive system.
The symptoms include disability to contract your muscles, as they get paralysed. The patients report dry mouth, difficulty when speaking or swallowing, troubled breathing, abdominal cramps and blurred or double vision.
Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio
Polio differs from the waterborne disease listed above, as it spreads from human to human. However, the primary reason for a person getting infected with the deadly disease is faecally contaminated food or water sources. Polio then enters the bloodstream by mouth.
This particular type of waterborne disease attacks the nerve cells, located in the brain, causing a paralysis of muscles. Subsequently, people can experience difficulty with swallowing, respiration, as well as the heartbeat.
The biggest threat with polio comes with the threat of developing a lifetime repeated cases of paralysis, as well as severe cases of paralyses. Polio can also be lethal in the cases when it affects the respiratory system, due to the muscles inability to let people breathe.
6. Hepatitis A
Dr. Melissa Palmer's Guide To Hepatitis and Liver Disease
Hepatitis A is caused by the hepatitis A virus, which leads to developing a liver disease. Then again, contaminated food and water are the primary reasons for human infection with the virus. On another note, hepatitis A is one of the few forms of waterborne disease which can be prevented. That’s only in case a person chooses to get vaccinated against hepatitis a virus.
The incubation period ranges from fifteen to fifty days. The symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, and lack of appetite. Hepatitis A sufferers may also notice dark urine or experience headaches, fever, and nausea.
Even though the predominant percentage of people diagnosed with Hepatitis A is successfully treated nowadays, the lethal threat remains. Patients can develop an acute liver failure, which leads to fatal consequences.
Fever: How Malaria Has Ruled Humankind For 500,000 Years
Most of the people associate malaria with getting bitten by an infected mosquito. Indeed, most of the malaria cases are due to direct mosquito bites. However, the waterborne disease form of the dangerous malaria threat is caused by contamination with malaria parasites from various water sources. That’s because the larval stage of mosquitoes takes place in various water bodies.
The symptoms can vary from headaches, muscle aches, fatigue, nausea, anemia and vomiting to fever chills and yellow colouring of the eyes and skin. Convulsions, kidney failure and coma are among the more severe signs of malaria infection. Malaria has taken the lives of more than 400 000 people worldwide for 2015.
DiaResQ Adult's Rapid Recovery
Diarrhea is causing the death of more than 2000 children each year, and that puts it ahead on deaths, caused by malaria and AIDS. combined. Diarrhea can be lethal due to its effect on depleting body fluids. Thus, it can lead to profound dehydration. Contaminated sources of water and food because of unhygienic conditions and poor sanitation are among the main reasons for diarrhea disease.
Diarrhea is characterized by abdominal pains and cramps, bloating, nausea and fever. Diarrhea sufferers may also notice loose, watery stools upon going to the toilet, as well as an urgent need for a bowel movement.
A Simple Guide To Legionellosis, (Legionnaire’s Disease) Diagnosis, Treatment And Related Conditions
The Legionella bacteria can thrive and survive in water with temperatures, reaching up to 50 degrees Celsius without being affected by the heat. That particular trait makes Legionella a very stubborn one, among other bacteria counterparts. Instead of attacking the digestive system, this form of waterborne disease hits the respiratory system.
Even humidifiers and whirlpool spas can become a source of Legionellosis. The symptoms include pneumonia-like signs, as well as lack of coordination. The danger comes when the otherwise mild symptoms, such as headaches, lethargy, fever, and loss of appetite worsen to developing a fatal stage of pneumonia.
Leptospirosis and Weil's Disease
Leptospirosis is caused by a type of Leptospira bacterium. Although Leptospirosis is rare and can also be transferred from animals to humans by an open wound, the disease can also be transmitted from contaminated water. Thus, people who enjoy water sports activities, as well as those who live in areas, prone to floods, are also under threat.
The severe forms of the virulent waterborne disease are reported as 5 to 15 person death rate. Some complications may include Weil’s disease, lung bleed, or even meningitis. The symptoms are characterized by abdominal and/or muscle pain, headaches, red eyes, vomiting, and high fever.