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8 Common Diseases That Spread Through Contaminated Water

Water is essential for life, but it can also be a carrier of disease. Even by 2020, around 26% of the global population will not have access to clean and safe drinking water. Given how advanced and advanced human civilization is, it is surprising to see that more than a quarter of the world’s population does not have access to these basic necessities. In addition, people have to be content with whatever water source they have access to, which makes them use contaminated water. That, in turn, exposes them to more and more waterborne diseases.

Having said that, let’s take a look at some of the most common diseases that are spread through contaminated water.

1. Cholera


Every year, between 21,000 and 143,000 people die from cholera. In February 2022, 114 cholera deaths were reported worldwide. These deaths mostly occur in underdeveloped countries, and although the numbers may seem small, that does not detract from the fact that the disease can be very life-threatening. No country, rich or poor, is safe from a cholera epidemic.

Cholera is an acute infectious intestinal disease that can lead to severe dehydration and death if left untreated. It is caused by a bacterial infection of the small intestine, which can be spread through contaminated water or food.

The cholera bacterium is found in the intestines of humans and animals without symptoms, but when ingested in contaminated water, causes diarrhea and vomiting. This disease is very dangerous for children because they do not have enough strength to fight its effects on their body.

If you suspect that you contracted cholera from drinking contaminated water, seek medical attention immediately. Don’t try to self-medicate. In addition to these medical interventions, make sure that anyone you come into contact with has been vaccinated against cholera before coming into contact again.

2. Dysentery


Dysentery is an infection of the intestinal tract caused by a bacterium called Shigella. The disease causes diarrhea, fever, and explosive abdominal pain that can last for several days.

Dysentery is spread by consuming contaminated food or water. It can also be transmitted by infected people who do not wash their hands before preparing food, especially if they themselves have a case of chronic dysentery. Antibiotics are used to treat this disease. However, you are advised to avoid contact with other people until you are treated to avoid spreading it further.

3. Typhoid

Typhoid fever is caused by the bacterium Salmonella typhi. It is transmitted through contaminated food or water and can also be spread from person to person. Symptoms of typhoid include high fever, headache, loss of appetite, and constipation.

Typhoid prevention includes practicing good hand washing techniques before handling food or drink, purifying water before drinking it, avoiding raw food, etc.

4. Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a virus that causes inflammation of the liver. There are two types of hepatitis: acute and chronic. Acute hepatitis causes symptoms such as fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. It can last from 1 week to 2 months.

Chronic hepatitis may not cause any symptoms for up to 20 years. This can lead to cirrhosis or scarring of the liver (liver failure). The virus is spread through contaminated water or food that has been handled by an infected person who does not wash their hands after using the bathroom (fecal-oral route).

5. Cancer


Every year, millions of people die of cancer. In 2020 alone, 10 million people died from cancer. Considering this is the year the world has to face a global pandemic, cancer is still one of the deadliest diseases. While cancer deaths have seen a significant drop of 27% over the last 20 years, the disease still remains one of the deadliest out there, which is why it is so important to do whatever is necessary to prevent it.

Of course, cancer does not spread from one person to another, and thus, contaminated water cannot spread the disease. However, such polluted water is responsible for causing it. The contaminated water comes from agricultural land or industrial waste that has traces of toxic chemicals in it.

Water contaminated with industrial chemicals is very likely to cause cancer when you drink it or use it. Studying the Camp Lejeune Lawsuit will help you understand how it happened. The case of water pollution at Camp Lejeune has caused many people to get cancer. They all lived in the area and were sadly affected by water pollution. This incident serves as a reminder that water contamination can also cause cancer.

6. Polio


Polio is a highly contagious disease that is spread through contaminated water. The disease is caused by the polio virus, which is transmitted through the feces of an infected person. When a person drinks water or eats food contaminated with the virus, they can become infected and develop polio.

The effects of polio range from mild weakness to severe paralysis and death. Polio attacks the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control muscle function, resulting in weakness or complete paralysis of various muscles throughout the body.

The people most at risk of getting polio are people who have never been vaccinated or have never had polio before. However, if you have been vaccinated against polio with more than one dose as recommended by your doctor, then you are protected against this disease.

7. E-coli


E.coli is a type of bacteria that lives in the intestines of humans and animals. E. coli can cause diarrhea, but it’s usually not serious. Most people with this infection recover within a week or two without any treatment. However, some strains of E. coli produce toxins (poisons) that cause severe illness and death in humans.

8. Salmonella


Salmonella is a type of food poisoning caused by bacteria. It is one of the most common causes of foodborne illness in the United States, and can be spread through contaminated water.

Salmonella lives in the intestines and feces of animals. If you eat or drink something that has been contaminated with Salmonella, you can get sick too. The bacteria is passed from person to person through contact with unwashed hands or objects contaminated with animal waste such as raw meat, eggs, and poultry products.

There are many risks of water pollution. Therefore, it is very important for you to be careful when drinking or using water. At the same time, you must do your part and keep the water bodies in your area clean.

Also read: What are the most common eye diseases and disorders?


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