Water-borne infection

A disease caused by infective or parasitic organisms transmitted via water. Infections can be contracted if infected water is drunk, if it contaminates food, or if individuals swim or wade in it. Worldwide, contamination of drinking water is an important mode of transmission for various diseases including hepatitis A, many viral and bacterial causes of diarrhoea, typhoid fever, cholera, amoebiasis, and some types of worm infestation. Swimming in polluted water should be avoided because, if swallowed, there is a risk of contracting disease. In addition, a form of leptospirosis is caused by contact with water contaminated by rat’s urine. In tropical countries, there is also a risk of contracting schistosomiasis (bilharzia), which is a serious disease caused by a fluke that can burrow through the swimmer’s skin.


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