What are waterborne diseases?

There are many different types of diseases and viruses that can affect us as human beings and the current pandemic has shown us the need to provide adequate care and treatment for all. In the Western world, we often take some of life’s luxuries for granted such as clean running water and the ability for our waste products and water to be removed from our homes and for any damage to our drainage pipes to be repaired quickly by Drain Lining from companies like https://www.wilkinson-env.co.uk/sewer-repairs-drain-lining-concrete-cutting/drain-lining/. However, in developing countries there is often a lack of fresh water and sanitisation is often inadequate. This leaves communities vulnerable to a number of waterborne diseases and illnesses.

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Waterborne diseases are those that are transmitted from person to person through contaminated water. This water can be contaminated with viruses and parasites that when ingested cause a number of different illnesses and symptoms. Some of these illnesses can be treated and others can prove fatal for people who already suffer from malnutrition and poorer quality of life and to young children and expectant mothers. These can include diseases such as cholera and dysentery.

There are also conditions that can affect the Western world as well such as Legionnaire’s disease and Botulism. It is for this reason that it is important to make sure that everyone has access to clean running water and a way in which they can have wastewater and products safely removed and processed. It is thought that there are over 844 million people who still lack access to even a basic level of drinking water and of those around 159 million of them rely solely on surface water as their access to hydration. These are some of the riskiest areas for individuals contracting waterborne diseases and illnesses.

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It is thought that the climate has a big impact on the transmission rates of waterborne illnesses as are large periods of rain there is often larger numbers of people presenting with symptoms. This is because the contaminated water becomes more abundant and travels to more areas of the community. Flooding also causes the basic sewage treatment areas to overflow which then tracks unhygienic water back into the communities.

As well as rainfall causing a problem, periods of drought can also increase the risk, as the level of the pathogens that are causing the diseases increases in the reduced amount of water. It starts to become a percentages game. The bigger the amount of water the less concentrated the pathogen will become but the lesser the amount of water the greater the concentration of the pathogens and so an increase in symptoms can appear.

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