Water born diseases | Contaminated water issues

What are Water born diseases?

The diseases caused by the dangerous microorganisms which are transported to the water and in this way, they are transmitted to the living bodies and cause disease in them is called water born diseases                

Explanation about water born diseases                         

These diseases are those which are caused by the microorganisms in those cases in which the microorganisms are transferred to the water and when this water is used by the living organisms, then it causes diseases called waterborne disease.

It is caused by varieties of microbes, sometimes also biotoxins and toxic contamination. All these causes dangerous diseases that even lead to death.

These waterborne diseases mostly occur in the under developing countries, where the water is unhygienic for use. As the world health organization estimated that the approximately, 3.6% of the total disease of the world is the water-borne diseases of the world is the waterborne disease and almost 1.5 million people die due to this problem each year.

WHO agency says that almost 58% of the diseases are caused by drinking unhygienic and unsafe water.

These diseases affect a lot of people or more than a hundred million each year, thus causing the death of the people. It has been believed that the water has a nature that transmits diseases, i.e it is a natural vehicle for the transmission of diseases.

Characteristics of water born diseases                         

The water borne diseases are the diseases that are caused by the polluted water containing toxic contamination which when is drunk by the living organism causes diseases.

 It creates severe problems like diarrheal disease.

When a disease breaks out, then it can be transmitted through bathing washing or drinking water or food that is exposed to contaminated water.

The diseases are caused by microorganisms, like protozoans, bacteria, viruses, and also by flukes. 

The contaminated water cause diseases of the skin, ears, respiratory problems, digestive tract problems, eye infection, etc.

The treatment of these diseases are costly to the poor people because they can not be managed by the poor people due to their financial problems.

Causes of water born diseases                          

There are many causes of diseases that are caused by polluted water.


Different type of pathogens are involved in water-borne diseases. These are given as follows

  • Protozoans

When protozoans are come into contact with the water causes the diseases of different types.

Its factor or causative agents are given as follows

Causative Agents.

Acanthamoeba, Entamoeba histolitica


The diseases are Acanthamoeba and Keratitis are caused by the protozoans.


These diseases cause eye pain, tearing from the eye, eye redness, sensitivity to light, abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, bloating, and sometimes fever occurs.

  • Bacteria.

Causative agents

There are many causative agents for the water-borne diseases of the bacteria, are Clostridium, Botulinum, Campylobacter jejuni, Vibrio cholera, E.coli etc.


Botulisms, campylobacteriosis, cholera, E.coli infection etc are the diseases caused by bacteria, so cause illness.


Dry mouth, blurred and double vision, vomiting, diarrhea, high fever, nosebleed, and nausea. All these are the symptoms of the disease that are caused by drinking or any type of contact with the water.

  • Viruses

Causative agents.

Corona virus , Hepatitis A virus , Hepatitis E virus , Norovirus etc.


Severe or acute respiratory syndrome, Hepatitis A, Hepatitis E, acute gastrointestinal illness.


Fever, myalgia, lethargy, gastrointestinal illness, cough, sore throat, abdominal pain, nausea, fatigue jaundice, hepatitis, joint’s pain, sometimes stomach pain, dark urine.

  • Algae

Causative agents.

Its causative agent is Desmodesmus.


The disease is also the desmodesmus.


It is similar to the given fungal infections.

 Toxic materials

Sometimes when water comes in contact with the toxic material, then it causes the water to become toxic. So when it comes to the use of humans, it causes severs diseases in them.


Some contaminations like excreta of the living organisms when coming into contact with water cause the disease in them. It is called the water borne diseases humans when they come in contact with the water.

Types of diseases

There is a large number of diseases that cause diseases in the water. For example Polio, Malaria, Cholera, Dengue, Scabies, Typhoids, Anaemia, Botulism, Fluorosis , Diarrhea, Leptospirosis, Malnutrition, Onchociasis. All these are the diseases caused by pathogens.

Water-Born diseases are the greatest issue because it is caused by water and water is used in every form of life. In developing countries, almost all the diseases are caused by water.

When we see throughout the health of the world, then it is said that almost 1.1 million people of the world have no access the clean water to drink. About 2.4 billion people on the earth are unable to have the sanitation. This is caused by germs/microbes.

Transmission of water borne diseases

The waterborne diseases are caused by drinking contaminated water, that has been contaminated by feces, urine and other toxic chemicals of industries. This water then transported to the public in that country that would get their water from rivers, lakes, and rains.

The water resources may also be contaminated by the contact of the infected animals that serve as biological pollutants and humans. runoff water that is contaminated landfills, sewer pipe, septic fields, and industries. This cause oral and another disease.

The occurrence of water borne diseases

It is not possible to count the number of diseases caused by water-borne diseases, but sometimes they are diagnosed. The use of contaminated water, swimming in contaminated water or any type of use can lead to the occurrence of water-borne diseases.


Waterborne diseases increase by the increases of the flood by the extreme weather that causes flood and lack of savage treatment plants also cause diseases. Similarly, the lake of water causes pressure on agriculture, which cause crop failure and then causes starvation and lead to the resource.

Waterborne diseases cause the death of the organisms and illness of bodies.

Prevention of water borne diseases

The following prevention measures should be taken, while the contamination affects the water.

  1. Clean the water so that it contains no germs.
  2. There should be proper sanitary conditions for the disposal of feces.
  3. There should be water treatment plants.
  4. The water should be irradiated ultraviolet radiation.
  5. Oxidation with chemicals should be treated with chlorine dioxide or ozone or chlorine.

Reviewed by:
Dr. Muhammad Tahir Ph.D. (PU)
Post Doctorate

American Museum of Natural History, New York, USA

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