Common Disease Transmitted to Humans from Contaminated Drinking Water
Because of the dearth of clean drinking water in many developing countries, there are many diseases that are commonly transmitted to humans through this affected drinking water. These diseases are transmitted through bacteria, viruses, parasitic protozoa and parasitic worms. These are all considered pathogens, disease-causing agents.
Diseases that can be caused by bacteria in contaminated drinking water include typhoid fever, cholera, bacterial dysentery and enteritis. Typhoid fever can cause diarrhea, severe vomiting, an enlarged spleen, and inflamed intestines and is often fatal if left untreated. Cholera can result in diarrhea, severe vomiting, and dehydration and is also fatal if left untreated. Bacterial dysentery results in much more severe diarrhea, however is rarely fatal except in young children. Enteritis can cause severe stomach pains, vomiting, and nausea, however is very rarely fatal.
The only viral disease that can result is Infectious hepatitis. It can cause permanent liver damage and an enlarged liver but is rarely fatal. Some symptoms include fever, loss of appetite and abdominal pains.
Parasitic protozoa can cause amoebic dysentery. Amoebic dysentery can result in severe diarrhea, headaches, chills and fever. This is probably the most deadly of diseases from polluted drinking water; and if left untreated, it can cause live bowel perforation, abscess or even death.
Parasitic worms can cause schistosamiasis. This can result in abdominal pains, skin rashes, chronic fatigue and anemia.