Water Borne Diseases

Bacterial diseases

Disease Causative organism Mode of spread Symptoms
Typhoid Salmonella typhi Contaminated food, water, milk, unwash­ed raw vegetables and flies Continuous fever which increases day by day Temperature higher in evening than morning, body ache, headache and constipation. Haemorrhage from an ulceration in small intestine
Cholera Vibrio cholerae Water or food con­taminated by bacteria from stools of chol­era patient Painless diarrhoea , vomiting, 30-40 stools per day which soon becomes typically watery and colourless with flakes of mucous floating in them
Bacterial Diaorhoea  Shigella spp. Contaminated food, water and by direct personal contact Diarrhoea, with blood and dysentry mucous in the stools along with severe gripping pain in the abdomen. Stools not too frequent (4-10 per day), faecal matter scanty. Patient looks ill
Leptospirosis Leptospira Rodents primary hosts-carry organ­isms in kidneys. Infection by wading or swimming in water contaminated with rodent urine Fever, pain in legs, nausea, vomiting are common, congestion of the conjunctival blood vessels around corneas of the eyes
Viral diseases
Infective Hepatitis Hepatitis virus Food and water contaminated with virus in stools Loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea, accompanied with fever. Urine dark coloured. Eye and skin appear yellow

Protozoan diseases

Amoebic dysentery Entamoeba histolytica Ingestion of cysts in food and water Abdominal discomfort and diarrhoea, with or without blood or mucous in stools, fever, chills and gripping pain in abdomen
Diarrhoea Giardia (=Lamblia)intestinalis Food or water con­taminated with fae­ces having cysts Intestinal disorders leading to epigastric pain, abdominal discomfort, loss of appetite, headache and loose bowels
Bilharzia Schistosoma spp Cercaria larvae of flukes in water penetrate skin of persons wading in water Allergy-like itch, rash, aches, fever, eosinophilia etc.When infection becomes heavy, eggs may block arterioles of lungs cardio-pulmonary water causing schistosomiasis and may lead to congestive heart failure.
Guinea worm Dracunculus medinensis Unfiltered water Blister near the ankle, causing allergy and aches

Vector borne diseases related with water


Causative organisms




Malaria Plasmodium sp Female Anopheles(primary or final hosts) Man (inter­mediate hosts) Shivering, chills and sweating. As chills subside body temperature rises as high as 106° F. When temperature comes down patient sweats profusely and becomes comfortable until next attack which takes place at regular intervals
Filaria (Elephantiasis) Wuchereria (=filaria) Culex fatigans Man (final hosts) Enlargement of limbs and scrotum
Dengue Barbo-virus Aedes aegypti Man (reservoir) Sudden onset of moderately high fever, excruciating joint pain, intense pain behind eyes, a second rise in temp following brief remission, reduction in neutrophilic white blood cells

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