Every year, waterborne diseases affect millions of people around the world. People get infected with these water-borne diseases when they consume or come into contact with contaminated water.
This mainly happens in developing countries where people do not have access to clean drinking water and are forced to use polluted water sources. The most common waterborne diseases are diarrhoea, typhoid, cholera, etc. Here’s a deep dive into waterborne diseases and how to keep yourself protected against them.
In simple terms, waterborne diseases are those illnesses that are caused by drinking or coming into contact with water that is contaminated with dangerous viruses, bacteria, or other microorganisms. People often get infected due to not having access to clean and treated water. It is therefore recommended that you do not drink water that is visibly polluted or comes from an unknown source. If you are going out of your house for long durations, it is important to carry bottled water.
You can take a look at the waterborne diseases list and their symptoms below:
Salmonella spreads among humans through food or water that is contaminated with faecal matter. Some types of undercooked meats, eggs, fruits or vegetables can also contain the salmonella bacteria. While most affected people do not experience heavy symptoms, children, pregnant women, and the elderly are at the highest risk of developing complications. The symptoms of salmonella include headache, diarrhoea, blood in stools, dehydration, and more. You can prevent this disease by regularly washing your hands, properly washing and cooking all of your food and avoiding contact with birds or reptiles.
A common water borne disease is Hepatitis A, which is a type of infection that affects a person’s liver. People can contract this disease by coming into contact with an infected patient or by consuming food/water that has been contaminated. Hepatitis A is more common in regions with poor sanitation and hygiene management. The symptoms of Hepatitis A include fatigue, jaundice, nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, fever, loss of appetite, etc.
E. Coli is a bacterial infection that happens when people consume food or water that is contaminated with the E. Coli bacteria. The infection is generally not deadly. However, this disease may be more dangerous for young children and the elderly. The symptoms of E. Coli include diarrhoea, nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, etc. In order to prevent this disease, ensure that your water comes from clean sources and that you consume properly-cooked food to reduce the risk of infection.
Cholera is an infectious waterborne disease that is common in areas with poor sanitation. This disease can cause severe dehydration and diarrhoea, and around 1 out of 10 infected patients can develop life-threatening complications. Cholera can become fatal within just a few days or even a few hours of exposure to the infection.
Typhoid is a type of bacterial infection common in developing countries but extremely rare in industrialised and developed nations. It is a highly contagious disease which is contracted by consuming contaminated water/food and spreads due to poor sanitation. The symptoms of typhoid include muscle pain, fatigue, fever, diarrhoea or constipation, sweating, and more.
The best way to avoid this disease is to eat home-cooked food and only consume treated water from safe sources. If one is hospitalised, treatment can get expensive; therefore, it is suggested to get insurance cover for typhoid.
Waterborne diseases can spread very easily and its symptoms can be highly troublesome. Hence, you can avoid the following situations or manners of transmission to make sure that you, or the people around you, do not develop or catch any waterborne disease.
Drinking contaminated water
Consuming unclean food
Maintaining poor personal hygiene
Living in an unclean environment
Coming in contact with faecal bacteria
You now understand the waterborne-diseases causes and prevention is the next crucial lesson. Here are a few useful tips you can implement to protect yourself and your loved ones against these common waterborne diseases:
Frequently wash your hands with soap periodically throughout the day, especially after using the toilet
Clean your toilet and bathroom on a regular basis with disinfectant to avoid the buildup of germs and bacteria
Drink water only from a clean source such as from the filter in your house, or packaged mineral water. Avoid drinking water directly from the taps. Do not consume any water outside of your house unless you know it comes from a safe and filtered source
Wash all of your fruits, vegetables and meats properly before cooking. Ensure that you cook them properly so that any remaining microorganisms in the foods are killed. Do not cook or consume food that has visibly gone bad or has been sitting around in your house for many days
If any member of your family has contracted one of the common water-borne diseases, it is a good idea to keep them isolated until they’ve recovered to reduce the risk of infection spreading to others
Now that you are aware of the most common water borne illnesses and how they spread, you can take the right precautionary measures. The most important factor in the prevention of these common waterborne diseases is having access to clean drinking water and consuming food that has been thoroughly cleaned and cooked.
At Bajaj Markets, you will find a range of insurance plans that can financially assist you during emergencies. So, head over to the 'Pocket Insurance' page and explore them now.
Here is a list of common water-borne diseases:
No, you can’t treat waterborne diseases at home. If you suspect that you are suffering from any kind of water-borne disease, you should immediately visit your doctor to seek the right treatment.
Yes, many insurers provide insurance cover for typhoid that can help you cover the treatment costs.
If you are travelling to such an area, it is best to carry your own bottled water from home. You can also buy a few packaged mineral water bottles before entering the area.
Yes, you can buy the ‘Water-Borne Diseases Insurance’ online at Bajaj Markets in a swift and hassle-free manner.