Waterborne Diseases

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 10th grade February 2008

download word file, 3 pages 0.0

Each year, millions of African's die from waterborne diseases. A waterborne disease is any illness that can be transmitted via water. Examples of waterborne diseases include cholera, typhoid fever, e-coli and cryptospoidiosis.

Cholera is a rare intestinal disease caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. A person with cholera often exhibits the symptoms of profuse diarrhea, vomiting and leg cramps which can lead to dehydration and shock from loss of body fluids. This disease can be transmitted through contaminated water or food sources, like undercooked shellfish or inadequate water treatment facilities. In America, cholera has been virtually eradicated by water treatment facilities and modern sewage disposal practices. Through re-hydration and introduction of antibiotics to kill the bacterium, cholera can be treated quickly and successfully if caught in time. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), travelers should make a point to follow this rule of thumb: ?Boil it, cook it, peel it or forget it.?

Typhoid fever is a life-threatening illness spread from the bloodstream or feces of a ?carrier? of the disease, or through water that has been contaminated by raw sewage. A high, sustained fever, accompanied by stomach pains, a headache, or loss of appetite are the typical signs of this disease. Salmonella typhi, the bacterium which causes typhoid fever, can be spread from person-to-person even after the carrier is no longer ill with visible symptoms. When traveling abroad, the most likely place a person can contract typhoid fever, it is important to follow the same rule of thumb as with cholera, but also to be vaccinated. If salmonella typhi is present in the blood work or stool of an infected person, he or she will most likely be given an antibiotic to treat the disease.

Escherichia coli O157:H7 is the most recent strain of e-coli bacterium to...