Water pollution is a serious problem that can have a devastating impact on human health. According to the World Health Organization, water pollution is responsible for 842,000 deaths yearly, making it one of the leading causes of death globally.
Beyond the fact that it is a precious resource, our well-being is deeply connected to the health of our water bodies. We may often overlook it, but the water quality we consume or use plays a critical role in our overall health.
This article will dive into the details of some diseases linked to water pollution.
- Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects movement. It is caused by the loss of dopamine-producing neurons in the brain. Some research suggests that exposure to certain environmental toxins, such as pesticides and herbicides, may increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. Water pollution can also be a source of these toxins.
A study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives in 2013 found that people who lived in areas with high levels of water pollution were more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease. Consider the Camp Lejeune water contamination, for example.
Camp Lejeune water contamination is a major environmental disaster at the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. The water supply at Camp Lejeune was contaminated with a variety of chemicals, including trichloroethylene (TCE) and perchloroethylene (PCE). These chemicals are known to be hazardous and can cause several health problems, including Parkinson’s disease. Sadly, Parkinson’s disease is just one of the many neurological effects of Camp Lejeune Water contamination.
Cholera is an acute diarrheal illness caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. It is a major cause of death and illness in developing countries, and it can also occur in developed countries, especially during natural disasters or conflict.
Cholera is spread through contaminated water or food. The bacterium can live in water for several weeks and can also be found in the feces of infected people. When people drink contaminated water or eat contaminated food, the bacteria can enter the body and cause an infection.
There is no specific treatment for cholera, but it can be easily prevented. The best way to prevent cholera is to drink clean water and avoid eating contaminated food.
- Typhoid Fever
It’s a disease that begins with a high fever and stomach pain, but if not tackled in time, it can escalate to a serious, life-threatening condition. Salmonella typhi causes it. Typhoid fever is a recurrent issue in areas struggling with sanitation challenges. Clean water and improved sanitation can be a major weapon in our battle against this hidden killer. It’s important to remember that the key to preventing Typhoid lies in promoting safe water practices and improving hygiene standards.
- Hepatitis A
Hepatitis A is a waterborne disease that can be caused by water pollution. The hepatitis A virus (HAV) is a virus that can live in contaminated water for several weeks. When people drink contaminated water or eat food contaminated with feces, they can become infected with HAV. This illness targets the liver, often causing loss of appetite, fatigue, and nausea, among other distressing symptoms.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection that can be spread through contact with contaminated water or soil. These bacteria can enter the body through cuts or abrasions in the skin or through the eyes, nose, or mouth. It triggers symptoms ranging from mild, flu-like conditions to severe health complications like kidney damage.
Polio is a highly contagious disease that can cause paralysis. It is caused by the poliovirus, which is a virus that lives in the throat and intestines. The virus can spread through contact with the saliva or feces of an infected person.
The symptoms of polio can appear anywhere from 1 to 30 days after exposure to the virus. The most common symptoms are fever, sore throat, headache, muscle pain, and fatigue. In some cases, the virus can attack the nerves that control the muscles, leading to paralysis.
Polio is not strictly a waterborne disease, but it can be spread through contaminated water. The poliovirus can live in the feces of an infected person for several weeks, and it can be found in contaminated water.
Schistosomiasis is a parasitic infection caused by a type of worm called Schistosoma. The worms live in freshwater and can be found in lakes, rivers, and streams. People can become infected with schistosomiasis by swimming, wading in contaminated water, or drinking contaminated water.
The symptoms of schistosomiasis can vary, and they may not appear for several weeks or months after infection. Some common symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain
- Blood in the urine or stool
- Muscle aches
Sometimes, schistosomiasis can lead to serious complications, such as liver damage, kidney damage, and heart disease.
- E. Coli Infection
E. coli is a type of bacteria that is usually found in the intestines of humans and animals. It is usually harmless, but it can cause serious infections if it is found in contaminated water.
E. coli infections can cause a variety of symptoms, including:
- Severe abdominal cramps
- Bloody diarrhea
- Muscle aches
In some cases, E. coli infections can be life-threatening.
E. coli infections are most likely to occur when people drink or swim in contaminated water. They can also occur from eating food that has been contaminated with E. coli.
Water pollution is a serious problem that can have a devastating impact on human health. There are many different types of water pollution, and they can all cause various diseases. Some of the most common waterborne diseases include cholera, typhoid fever, hepatitis A, and leptospirosis.
In addition to the diseases mentioned above, water pollution can also cause other health problems, such as skin rashes, eye infections, and respiratory problems. It can also increase the risk of cancer.
Water pollution is a serious problem that affects people all over the world. It is important to be aware of the risks of water pollution and to take steps to protect yourself and your family.