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What diseases are associated with the use of contaminated water?

Last updated date: 26th Feb 2024
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IVSAT 2024
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Hint: Primary illnesses linked with consumption of unclean water include dysentery, typhoid, polio, cholera etc. They can be prevented by maintaining sanitation. Common spaces for bathing and drinking etc. should have RO etc. to ensure no spread of diseases.

Complete answer:
The presence of microbes (organisms like bacteria, protozoa and viruses) present in unfiltered water cause infections, fevers etc. which are often fatal. These ailments are however, usually only found in poor and developing regions.
It also has significant socio-economic impact.
Let's look at an overview of the most common ones:
1. Giardia: This is caused by the presence of a parasite and causes intestinal problems. It has no vaccine.
2. Dysentery: It is characterised by intense diarrhea and mucus or blood in excreta. Sufficient fluids in the system are necessary. This can be prevented by maintaining proper hygiene.
3. E. coli: This is caused by a bacteria usually found in water bodies where animals and humans coexist. It can heal in a week, but children and older people are at higher risk.
4. Hepatitis A: Its symptoms include fatigue and jaundice, and occurs due to either close contact to an affected individual or with contaminated food or water.
5. Salmonella: This can also be contracted to consuming uncooked meat or feces-contaminated food. This infection dehydrates the body.

Given, 80% of worldwide diseases are water-borne. It affects 37.7 million Indian lives annually, with 6000 child casualties a day. These can be battled if we have institutional presence of distillation and dechlorinating systems, water softeners, and basic filtering and disinfecting. This is important to note because not every household can afford these systems domestically.