Water is one of the most basic necessity without which life would be impossible. But the need to check if you are drinking clean water is often overlooked. There are several diseases that are caused just due to the consumption of unclean water. Some of these diseases are extremely dangerous and life-threatening. Even though it sounds easy to prevent this, water-borne diseases are among the biggest health risks in the world. According to World Health Organization(WHO), around 3.4 million people lose their lives due to these diseases on an annual basis. Typhoid, cholera, dysentery, gastroenteritis, and hepatitis are some of the common water-borne diseases. They are caused by harmful microorganisms present in drinking water. 

Causes of waterborne diseases 

Contaminated water could be anywhere. Well water supplies, city water supplies, freshwater from rivers and lakes, none of these are immune to disease-causing microorganism. These harmful bacteria could be transmitted through drinking water, bathing in contaminated water, or even eating food that was prepared using contaminated water. People often forget to check the purity of the water they consume.  Unclean water is loaded with bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms that can cause various, often life-threatening diseases. 

Common Water-borne diseases 

Typhoid 

Typhoid is a highly contagious waterborne disease spread through contaminated food, water and lack of sanitation in general. It affects up to 12 million people every year. It is caused by a bacterium known as Salmonella Typhi. Some of the common symptoms of typhoid include fever, diarrhoea or constipation, fatigue, muscle ache and excessive sweating. 

Causes 

Typhoid is caused by a bacterium known as Salmonella Typhi. It spreads through contaminated food and water, as well as from a person who is infected by this disease. They multiply quickly and spread into the bloodstream. 

Urbanization and climate change have caused an increase in the number of typhoid cases. Moreover, increased resistance to antibiotics is making it easier for typhoid to spread. An overcrowded population, inadequate flood and water sanitation systems add on to the problem. 

Symptoms 

Some of the common symptoms of typhoid are –

  •   High temperature
  •    Headache
  •    General aches and pains
  •    Cough
  •   Constipation

These symptoms improve in about 3 to 5 days if treated on time. Otherwise, it gets worse over the weeks and could lead to life-threatening problems. Without proper treatment, it could take weeks, at times even months to fully recover from typhoid. There are chances for it to return as well. 

  Prevention 

  • Frequent hand-washing in hot water and soap is the best way to control the chances of being infected. Wash before eating or preparing food and after using the toilet. Use a hand-sanitizer for when water isn’t available.
  • Avoid drinking untreated water. Contaminated drinking water is a particular problem in areas where typhoid fever is endemic. Avoid swallowing water in the shower or while swimming.
  • Avoid raw fruits and vegetables. Because raw produce may have been washed in unsafe water, avoid fruits and vegetables that you can’t peel, especially lettuce.
  • Choose hot foods. Avoid food that’s stored or served at room temperature.Cholera 

Cholera is found in contaminated water causing severe dehydration and diarrhoea. It is spread from the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea and Muscle cramps are some of the most occurring symptoms of cholera. If left untreated, this disease could even lead to death. 

Water is one of the most basic necessity without which life would be impossible. But the need to check if you are drinking clean water is often overlooked. There are several diseases that are caused just due to the consumption of unclean water. Some of these diseases are extremely dangerous and life-threatening. Even though it sounds easy to prevent this, water-borne diseases are among the biggest health risks in the world. According to World Health Organization(WHO), around 3.4 million people lose their lives due to these diseases on an annual basis. Typhoid, cholera, dysentery, gastroenteritis, and hepatitis are some of the common water-borne diseases. They are caused by harmful microorganisms present in drinking water. 

Causes of waterborne diseases 

Contaminated water could be anywhere. Well water supplies, city water supplies, freshwater from rivers and lakes, none of these are immune to disease-causing microorganism. These harmful bacteria could be transmitted through drinking water, bathing in contaminated water, or even eating food that was prepared using contaminated water. People often forget to check the purity of the water they consume.  Unclean water is loaded with bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms that can cause various, often life-threatening diseases. 

Common Water-borne diseases 

  1. Typhoid 

Typhoid is a highly contagious waterborne disease spread through contaminated food, water and lack of sanitation in general. It affects up to 12 million people every year. It is caused by a bacterium known as Salmonella Typhi. Some of the common symptoms of typhoid include fever, diarrhoea or constipation, fatigue, muscle ache and excessive sweating. 

Causes 

Typhoid is caused by a bacterium known as Salmonella Typhi. It spreads through contaminated food and water, as well as from a person who is infected by this disease. They multiply quickly and spread into the bloodstream. 

Urbanization and climate change have caused an increase in the number of typhoid cases. Moreover, increased resistance to antibiotics is making it easier for typhoid to spread. An overcrowded population, inadequate flood and water sanitation systems add on to the problem. 

  Symptoms 

Some of the common symptoms of typhoid are –

  •   High temperature
  •    Headache
  •    General aches and pains
  •    Cough
  •   Constipation

These symptoms improve in about 3 to 5 days if treated on time. Otherwise, it gets worse over the weeks and could lead to life-threatening problems. Without proper treatment, it could take weeks, at times even months to fully recover from typhoid. There are chances for it to return as well. 

        Prevention 

  • Frequent hand-washing in hot water and soap is the best way to control the chances of being infected. Wash before eating or preparing food and after using the toilet. Use a hand-sanitizer for when water isn’t available.
  • Avoid drinking untreated water. Contaminated drinking water is a particular problem in areas where typhoid fever is endemic. Avoid swallowing water in the shower or while swimming.
  • Avoid raw fruits and vegetables. Because raw produce may have been washed in unsafe water, avoid fruits and vegetables that you can’t peel, especially lettuce.
  • Choose hot foods. Avoid food that’s stored or served at room temperature. 
  1. Cholera 

Cholera is found in contaminated water causing severe dehydration and diarrhoea. It is spread from the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. Nausea, Vomiting, Diarrhea and Muscle cramps are some of the most occurring symptoms of cholera. If left untreated, this disease could even lead to death. 

Causes 

A bacteria called Vibrio Cholerae is the carrier of Cholera. This bacteria produces a stong toxin called CTX in your small intestine. Contaminated water is the main source of cholera. Uncooked fruits, vegetables and other food can contain cholera causing bacteria. However, this disease does not spread from one infected person to another. 

Symptoms 

Common symptoms of cholera include

  •  sudden onset of diarrhoea
  •   nausea
  •   vomiting
  •    mild to severe dehydration

Cholera causes severe dehydration, resulting in tiredness, irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure, dry mouth and continued thirst. This is due to the rapid loss of minerals in your blood, leading to an imbalance in electrolyte. 

Prevention 

  1. Use filtered, boiled or chemically treated water for the purpose of drinking, cooking, making ice, washing dishes, washing fruits and vegetable.
  2. Avoid raw food such as unpeeled fruits and vegetables, raw or under-cooked meat and shellfish.Dysentery 

This is another water-borne disease spread mainly because of poor hygiene. Bacteria, viruses and parasites present in unclean food and water is a major cause of dysentery. It is characterized by severe diarrhoea. If the body fluids are not replaced on time, this disease could prove fatal. 

Symptoms 

The symptoms of dysentery range from mild to severe, largely depending on the quality of sanitation in the areas where the infection has spread.

Symptoms include 

  • Stomach-ache
  • Cramping
  • Diarrhoea

These usually appear from 1 to 3 days after infection, and the patient recovers within a week.

          Prevention 

  •  To reduces the chances of being infected by dysentery, wash your hands regularly, with clean water and soap.
  • Make sure that the food you eat it thoroughly cooked
  • Avoid consuming water from unknown sources.Hepatitis A

This is caused by a virus known as hepatitis A and affects the liver. It is easily transmitted under poor hygiene conditions. Like most water-borne diseases, hepatitis A is highly contagious. The most common symptoms are jaundice or the yellowness of the skin, eyes, and dark yellowish urine, fatigue loss of appetite, fever, stomach pain and nausea.

Causes 

Hepatitis is usually caused by eating fruits, vegetables, or other foods that were contaminated during handling. Eat raw shellfish harvested from water that’s got the virus is also a major cause.  

 Symptoms 

  • Jaundice
  • Pain in your belly
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fatigue 

Prevention 

  • Hepatitis can be prevented to a large extent by maintaining good hygiene. 
  •  Always wash your hands with soap and water after using the bathroom, before and after handling food.
  • When you travel to a place with poor sanitation, don’t drink tap water or eat raw food.Salmonella Infection 

Salmonellosis is an infection caused by the bacteria called Salmonella usually spread through drinking contaminated water. The most common symptoms of salmonellosis include diarrhoea, fever, vomiting and abdominal cramps. In some cases, there is dehydration too.         

Causes 

  • Uncooked food, seafood and poultry can easily transmit salmonella virus. 
  • Fruits and vegetables can be contaminated if they are washed in contaminated water. 
  • Lack of hygiene in the kitchen and bathroom is another major cause. 

Symptoms 

Symptoms of salmonella poisoning are as follows 

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Blood in the stool

Prevention 

  • Refrigerate food properly, before and after cooking them.
  • Wash your hands well with soap and warm water before, and after, handling food.
  • Do not mix cooked food with raw food or use the same utensils to prepare them.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water after touching animals, their toys, and their bedding.
  • Wash raw fruits and vegetables well, and peel them if possible.

How to prevent water-borne diseases? 

Prevention is always better than cure. Taking some of these small steps as precautions from water-borne diseases can make a huge difference.  

  1. Think twice before buying bottled waters. There are often reports of tap water being filled into these bottles with a seal and then sold as purified water.
  2. Take better care of sensitization in your area. 
  3. Never drink water directly from a river, lake or pond. There are high chances of these being contaminated with animal or human wastes.
  4. Avoid Popsicle, flavoured ice and iced drinks from unknown sources.
  5. Do not swallow water while swimming. 
  6. Adopt good hygiene practices. 
  7. Use a trusted RO water purifier

Waterborne diseases are a huge cause for concern in many parts of our country. The lack of knowledge regarding these, adds on to this issue. SKF Elixer aims to provide clean and safe drinking water to everyone. We understand the role water plays in people’s lives and are dedicated to making it as safe as possible. Together, lets’ move towards a healthier and better way of living. 

A bacteria called Vibrio Cholerae is the carrier of Cholera. This bacteria produces a stong toxin called CTX in your small intestine. Contaminated water is the main source of cholera. Uncooked fruits, vegetables and other food can contain cholera causing bacteria. However, this disease does not spread from one infected person to another. 

Symptoms 

Common symptoms of cholera include

  •  sudden onset of diarrhoea
  •   nausea
  •   vomiting
  •    mild to severe dehydration

Cholera causes severe dehydration, resulting in tiredness, irregular heartbeat, low blood pressure, dry mouth and continued thirst. This is due to the rapid loss of minerals in your blood, leading to an imbalance in electrolyte. 

Prevention 

  1. Use filtered, boiled or chemically treated water for the purpose of drinking, cooking, making ice, washing dishes, washing fruits and vegetable.
  2. Avoid raw food such as unpeeled fruits and vegetables, raw or under-cooked meat and shellfish. 

Dysentery 

This is another water-borne disease spread mainly because of poor hygiene. Bacteria, viruses and parasites present in unclean food and water is a major cause of dysentery. It is characterized by severe diarrhoea. If the body fluids are not replaced on time, this disease could prove fatal. 

Symptoms 

The symptoms of dysentery range from mild to severe, largely depending on the quality of sanitation in the areas where the infection has spread.

Symptoms include 

  • Stomach-ache
  • Cramping
  • Diarrhoea

These usually appear from 1 to 3 days after infection, and the patient recovers within a week.

          Prevention 

  •  To reduces the chances of being infected by dysentery, wash your hands regularly, with clean water and soap.
  • Make sure that the food you eat it thoroughly cooked
  • Avoid consuming water from unknown sources.

    Hepatitis A

This is caused by a virus known as hepatitis A and affects the liver. It is easily transmitted under poor hygiene conditions. Like most water-borne diseases, hepatitis A is highly contagious. The most common symptoms are jaundice or the yellowness of the skin, eyes, and dark yellowish urine, fatigue loss of appetite, fever, stomach pain and nausea.

Causes 

Hepatitis is usually caused by eating fruits, vegetables, or other foods that were contaminated during handling. Eat raw shellfish harvested from water that’s got the virus is also a major cause.  

 Symptoms 

  • Jaundice
  • Pain in your belly
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Fever
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fatigue 

Prevention 

  • Hepatitis can be prevented to a large extent by maintaining good hygiene. 
  •  Always wash your hands with soap and water after using the bathroom, before and after handling food.
  • When you travel to a place with poor sanitation, don’t drink tap water or eat raw food.

    Salmonella Infection 

Salmonellosis is an infection caused by the bacteria called Salmonella usually spread through drinking contaminated water. The most common symptoms of salmonellosis include diarrhoea, fever, vomiting and abdominal cramps. In some cases, there is dehydration too. 

 Causes 

  • Uncooked food, seafood and poultry can easily transmit salmonella virus. 
  • Fruits and vegetables can be contaminated if they are washed in contaminated water. 
  • Lack of hygiene in the kitchen and bathroom is another major cause. 

Symptoms 

Symptoms of salmonella poisoning are as follows 

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Blood in the stool

Prevention 

  • Refrigerate food properly, before and after cooking them.
  • Wash your hands well with soap and warm water before, and after, handling food.
  • Do not mix cooked food with raw food or use the same utensils to prepare them.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water after touching animals, their toys, and their bedding.
  • Wash raw fruits and vegetables well, and peel them if possible.

How to prevent water-borne diseases? 

Prevention is always better than cure. Taking some of these small steps as precautions from water-borne diseases can make a huge difference.  

  1. Think twice before buying bottled waters. There are often reports of tap water being filled into these bottles with a seal and then sold as purified water.
  2. Take better care of sensitization in your area. 
  3. Never drink water directly from a river, lake or pond. There are high chances of these being contaminated with animal or human wastes.
  4. Avoid Popsicle, flavoured ice and iced drinks from unknown sources.
  5. Do not swallow water while swimming. 
  6. Adopt good hygiene practices. 
  7. Use a trusted RO water purifier

Waterborne diseases are a huge cause for concern in many parts of our country. The lack of knowledge regarding these, adds on to this issue. SKF Elixer aims to provide clean and safe drinking water to everyone. We understand the role water plays in people’s lives and are dedicated to making it as safe as possible. Together, lets’ move towards a healthier and better way of living.