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Monsoon Health: 5 Factors That Contribute to The Risk of Waterborne Diseases During Rainy Season

Waterborne diseases are conditions brought on by viruses and bacteria, as well as other tiny organisms, which are consumed through polluted water.

Published: August 13, 2023 1:55 PM IST

By Lifestyle Staff | Edited by Tanya Garg

Monsoon Health
Monsoon Health: 5 Factors That Contribute to The Risk of Waterborne Diseases During Rainy Season

Monsoon Health: Seasonal pathogens and waterborne illnesses, which affect a large population worldwide, thrive during the monsoon season. The rate of bacterial multiplication is accelerated by humidity and temperature changes, which causes a dramatic rise in seasonal diseases such as conjunctivitis, gastroenteritis, skin allergies, and cholera. Millions of people are affected by waterborne infections every year, making them a serious worldwide health problem. Effective preventive and control methods require an understanding of the variables that increase the risk of waterborne illnesses. The main variables that increase the risk of waterborne infections are highlighted by Dr Gaurav Vashist, Consultant Internal Medicine, Artemis lite in Gurugram for

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  1. Contaminated Water Sources: The primary factor contributing to the risk of waterborne diseases is the presence of microbial and chemical contaminants in water sources. Contamination can occur due to inadequate sanitation systems, improper sewage disposal, agricultural runoff, industrial pollutants, or natural factors such as flooding. Pathogens like bacteria, viruses, and parasites, including Escherichia coli (E. coli), norovirus, and Giardia, can thrive in contaminated water sources and pose a significant risk to human health if ingested.
  2. Inadequate Water Treatment & Distribution Systems: Insufficient water treatment processes and inadequate maintenance of water distribution systems can lead to the transmission of waterborne diseases. Inadequate treatment methods or malfunctioning treatment facilities may not effectively remove or inactivate contaminants, allowing them to persist in the water supply. Additionally, ageing or poorly maintained water distribution systems can become breeding grounds for bacteria or provide opportunities for contamination through cross-connections, leaks, or breaks in the pipes.
  3. Lack of Access to Safe Drinking Water & Sanitation: Communities with limited access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities face a higher risk of waterborne diseases. Lack of proper infrastructure, especially in low-income regions or areas affected by natural disasters, increases reliance on unsafe water sources or contaminated water supply systems. Inadequate sanitation facilities contribute to the contamination of water sources, as improper disposal of human waste can contaminate nearby water bodies and groundwater.
  4. Poor Hygiene Practices: Personal hygiene practices play a significant role in preventing waterborne diseases. Lack of handwashing with clean water and soap, especially after using the toilet or before handling food, can facilitate the transmission of pathogens. Poor sanitation and hygiene practices within households and communities, including improper waste disposal, can contaminate water sources and perpetuate the cycle of waterborne diseases.
  5. Climate Change & Environmental Factors: Climate change impacts water quality and availability, potentially increasing the risk of waterborne diseases. Extreme weather events, such as floods or droughts, can disrupt water supply systems, contaminate water sources, and promote the growth of harmful bacteria. Rising temperatures can affect water quality parameters and create favourable conditions for microbial growth. Additionally, environmental degradation, deforestation, and agricultural practices can lead to water pollution, exacerbating the risk of waterborne diseases.

A multifaceted strategy comprising enhanced water treatment and distribution systems, accessibility to clean drinking water and sanitary facilities, promotion of good hygiene habits, and environmental conservation activities is needed to address the risk factors of waterborne illnesses.

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