Water: elixir of life and a panacea in this world. Existence wouldn’t have been possible if water came to a naught some day. However the issue of prime concern today is the trouble contaminated water can cause. Water contamination can lead to serious diseases if neglected in the first case. Consumption of polluted water leads to various infections that can even prove to be fatal. The symptoms are easy to detect so the doctor should be consulted immediately for the same. Let’s have a look at the top 10 diseases caused by polluted water, their particular symptoms and their medications as well.
Giardiasis or beaver fever is caused by a protozoan. The organism of infection resides in the digestive tract of the host. Symptoms include weakness, loss of appetite, loose watery stool, bloating and sulfurous burping. Stool test is the current method of diagnosis. It can be treated with certain medications and the choice of it differs around the globe. Some medications have to be taken on a regular basis while some are effective in a single dose only.
Amoebiasis is an infection induced by any of the amoebas of the Entamoeba group. It may occur with no, mild or very severe symptoms. There may be some abdominal pain. There is no vaccine available for the same but the infection can be treated according to the site of infection. A combination of various medications is required for the treatment to be effective. It can be inspected with the help of colonoscopy which detects small ulcers or even by finding cysts in the stool. At present, microscopy is used by and large to diagnose the disease worldwide.
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the lover that is characterized by the existence of such cells in the tissues. It may occur with minute or no symptoms but often results in jaundice, poor appetite and malaise. It can last for as less as six months or even take a chronic form. While the initial symptoms are not specific the latter ones can be loss of appetite, animosity for smoking among smokers and abdominal pain. It can be diagnosed by analyzing a person’s medical history along with blood tests, liver biopsy and imaging. Vaccines are available to forestall hepatitis A and B.
- Viral Gastroenteritis
Stomach flu or viral gastroenteritis is caused by varied viruses that result in vomiting and diarrhea. Even after the diarrhea is cured, the infection might still persist in an individual. Symptoms are inflammation of the stomach and intestines along with back and rib pain. It can be recovered from as early as in 24 to 72 hours if adhered to a diet of no fatty foods and taken proper rest. Plenty of clean liquids should be consumed to prevent dehydration. It is contagious so unless and until the sick person recovers, he should avoid contact with others. If symptoms stay for more than six days, one must consult a doctor.
Dysentery is an intestine infection which causes diarrhoea with blood. Other symptoms are fever, abdominal pain and a feeling of incomplete defecation. In extreme situations, the subject can pass more than one liter of fluid in an hour. Vomiting, rapid weight loss and muscle ache also co-occur. It can be due to viral, bacterial or parasitic infections. Due to dehydration the mouth, skin and lips appear dry and cultures of stool samples are analyzed in order to diagnose the organism causing the same. Blood tests are also done to measure certain abnormalities.
Filariasis is caused by infection with roundworms. It is disseminated by black flies and mosquitoes. The most catchy symptom of the disease is elephantiasis i.e. edema with thickening of the skin and tissues. It mainly affects the lower body. Different types of worms however attack different body parts. It is usually determined by spotting microfilariae on Giemsa stained blood film smears with the help of ‘gold standard’ known as the finger prick test.
- Typhoid fever
Typhoid is a bacterial infection caused by Salmonella typhi. Over the days, there is a steady outset of high fever. Other symptoms are headaches, constipation, abdominal pain and general fatigue. Poor sanitation and hygiene aggravate the risk of infection. What’s interesting to know is that humans are the only animals who can be infected by the disease. A vaccine can refrain about 50-70% chances of developing typhoid and the effect lasts for up to seven years. An infected individual should not prepare food for others as the infection may be passed on during the same. It can be treated with antibiotics; however, resistance to these antibiotics is gradually developing among the population which is making it more difficult to find a cure for the same.
Malaria is a mosquito-borne infection which can be recognized early by symptoms like fever, fatigue, vomiting and headaches. If not treated properly, it may recrudesce later. Its severity can even lead to coma and death. It is carried by the female Anopheles mosquito. The risk of encountering with the disease can be diminished by forestalling the breeding of mosquitoes and keeping the vicinity hygienic. Although malaria is a widespread disease there is no effective vaccine against the same till date. However for treatment anti-malarial medications are available.
Diarrhea is a physiological condition of having at least three loose bowel movements each day. Since fluids are lost from the body it can result in dehydration. Decreased urination, loss of skin color and a fast heart rate are some other symptoms. It is most commonly caused due to an infection termed as gastroenteritis. It can last for a few days however in extreme situations it can also persist for more than two weeks.
Cholera is an infection of the small intestine that is characterized by enormous amounts of watery diarrhea which usually lasts a few days. This diarrhea needs to be treated as soon as possible because its intensity can be so high that it may lead to dehydration in a few hours. It can be so much so that it can even be fatal for the person. It generally spreads by water that has been polluted with human feces. Improved sanitation and clean drinking water are a must to refrain from this disease.
It is thus very important to be sure of the water consumed. As we have seen that the elixir of life can change into the cause of cessation of the same. It is thus our prime responsibility for ourselves as well as for the other people around us to ensure that everybody has an access to clean and safe water. Hands should be properly washed, food should be cooked in healthy water and proper sanitation should be maintained to avoid breeding of germs and ensuring a healthy life for the mankind.