Water-borne Diseases and Prevention

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  Water-borne Diseases and Prevention

Introduction
 Water is life, currently, no body can underestimate the efficacy and relevance of good and quality water system. It is
needed by plant and animals for  survival, healthy growth of  hormone, most significantly during reproduction. Good and clean water is odourless, tasteless,sparkling and above all colourless. When water is
contaminated, it may cause diseases that are referred to as water-borne diseases.

   

 Water-borne diseases
 Water-borne diseases
are diseases that are mainly caused by drinking or using contaminated water.  The causative organisms (organisms that cause
it, known as pathogens), are present in such water.  Getting clean and safe water for use in many
parts of our country is a major problem, especially in the rural areas during
the dry season.  In rural areas the
commonest water sources includes springs, wells, rivers, streams and rain
water.  Most of these sources may contain
microbes that are responsible for one disease or the other.   Examples of water-borne diseases are Cholera,
diarrhea, typhoid fever, dysentery and guinea worm.

Cholera
 The causative organism
of cholera is vibro cholera, a bacterium, which was discovered by the German
bacteriologist; Robert Koch.  The only
means by which a person can be infected by Cholera is from contaminated food or water

 The symptoms of Cholera  can include the following ;

1.    
 Frequents stooling that is sometimes called
‘rice-water stool’.  
2.    
 Vomiting                              
3.    
 Loss of water and salts in the stool
(dehydration)
4.    
 Fever
5.    
 Weakness and stomach upset
 If the victim is not treated promptly cholera
could lead to death.    

Treatment of Cholera
 Cholera can be
treated orally or by intravenous replacement of fluids and salt.   
Antibiotics, which
are prescribed by a medical doctor, can also be used. 
  
 Prevention of Cholera
Cholera can be
prevented by
1.    
Boiling
water before drinking and covering of food.
2.    
Maintaining
a high level of sanitation.
3.    
Immunization
of children and adults. 

 Diarrhoea
Diarrhoea is a
disease that causes abdominal pains nausea, vomiting, watery stool, and low
fever.  In severe cases, exhaustion and
dehydration may occur. 
 Thyhoid fever
Typhoid fever is a
disease that affects the intestinal tract, and occasionally, the
bloodstream.  The disease strikes when
the bacteria responsible are passed out in the stool of an infected person, and
the germs contaminate food or drinking water.

 Causative organism
The causative organism
of typhoid fever is a bacterium known as salmonelia typhi.   Symptoms of typhoid fever normally appear 1-3
weeks after infection.
 The symptoms of
typhoid fever include:
1.    
Chills
followed by a high fever.
2.    
Headache
3.    
Abdominal
pain
4.    
Vomiting
and diarrhea
Note:   if the
disease is not treated in time.  It may
progress to sepsis that is an infection which produces pus, intestinal hemorrhage,
and eventually death.

 Treatment
The disease can be
treated when the physician places the victim on certain drugs.   

 Prevention
Typhoid fever may
be prevented by
1.    
Compulsory
inspection of water supplies.
2.    
 Boiling of water before drinking
3.    
Washing
of hands after using the toilet
4.    
 Immunization against typhoid fever
5.    
 Improvement of Sewage facilities.   

 Possible Sources of clean water
 Water is a liquid substance
at room temperature and atmospheric pressure. 
Water is essential because we use it everyday.  It is needed for life on earth by plants and
animals. 
There are many
sources of water.   Examples are rain, wells, streams, rivers,
seas and springs.  Not all these sources
are clean. 
Sources of clean
water include the following:
1.    
Pipe-borne
water
2.    
Spring
water
3.    
Rain
water
4.    
Certified,
treated bottled water
5.    
Certified,
treated sachet water
Pipe-borne water
could be referred to as a source of clean water, because it is a source of
treated water from the water works.   Sometimes, pipe-borne water may be dirty, and
that is when it is passed through rusty pipes.
 Certified bottled
water and sachet water may also be taken as sources of clean water, because it
is treated water authorized by a government by a government agency. 
 Rain water, if
collected directly from the sky, may also be considered as a source of clean
water because it is formed by condensation of water vapour.
 Springs are a
source of cleans water because they are formed when rain water seeps through
the soil and reaches a layer of rock, which it cannot pass through.  It then accumulates and later reappears as
spring when it finds an outlet. 

 Water treatment process
 Water is essential
for life, everybody knows,  Water has to be purified or
treated to make it safe for drinking, domestic and industrial purposes.
Impurities in water
collected from unclean sources such as rivers, streams, lakes and wells, can be
grouped into two:
1.    
Visible
impurities, eg debris, leaves, stories and sand.
Depending on the
quality of water to be treated and the source, there are  different ways by which water can be treated
or purified.

 In rural areas,
water can be treated by filtering and boiling it before use, to remove visible
and invisible impurities.

The steps to be
taken are as follows:
1.    
 Collect water from a source
2.    
 Add little alum for dirt to flocculate
(settle) and gently pour out the water.
3.    
 Boil the water for about thirty (30) minutes
4.    
 Allow the water to cool
5.    
Tie a
clean sheet of cloth around the mouth of a pot
6.    
 Pour the water gently into the cloth and allow
to seep into the pot, so as to   
 have
filtered water.

In cities, water is usually
treated and distributed to different homes and industries at water works
(stations and where purification of water is carried out).  The following steps are taken in water
treatment at water works.

1.    
Collection
of water from sources such as rain, rivers, and lakes, and storing in large
settling tanks.
2.    
 Coagulation/flocculation:  Chemicals like potash are added to water to
cause the clumping together of suspended particles like sand (coagulation). The
dirt now settles down rapidly at the base of the tank.
3.    
 Filtering water through a filter bed:  The water is passed through a filter bed to
remove the remaining fine particles of dirt and make it colourless and
odourless. 
4.    
Distribution:  a calculated amount of Chlorine is added to
the water to kill germs.   Addition of chlorine may make the water slightly
acidic. To remove this effect, and improve its taste, time is added.
5.    
Sedimentation:
The water is now passed into a sedimentation tank where the lime is allowed to
settle.
6.    
  Addition of food supplements:  Clean water is led into high tanks
(reservation) where chemicals like sodium; fluoride and iodine are added in the
right amounts to prevent tooth decay and goiter respectively.
Most pipe-borne
water supplies are quite safe because   the water has been treated and tested.  However, sometimes before it gets to your
home.  It may pick up particles,
especially if the pipes are rusty. So it is advisable to check and boil water
before drinking. 

 Purification of water in the laboratory
 Water can be
purified in the laboratory either by filtration or distillation.
In the laboratory,
insoluble particles in the water can be removed by filtration.  Filter paper is used to remove the insoluble
particles.  The water that passes through
the filter paper is called the filtrate, while the impurities left on the
filter paper are referred to as the residue. 
This method only removes the visible particles that are not soluble, but
may not remove the micro organism of dissolved particles.

 Distillation is
another method that can be used to remove dissolved particles or micro
organisms from water in the laboratory, this method is used to purify water or
recover water form a mixture of liquids. 
The apparatus use in sample distillation is called Liebig condenser.   
 The impure water is
placed in a distillation flask and placed over a Bunsen burner.  A thermometer is used to take role of the
point at which ate boils.

The heated water
turns to vapor which is passed in to the Liebig condenser, where it is cooled
and later collected at the distillate.

 Advantages of Using Pipe-borne water
Pipe-borne water
has the following advantages:
1.    
It is
safe to domestic use, because it has been treated to remove disease causing
micro organisms.
2.    
It contains
food supplements such as sodium fluoride and iodine, which prevent tooth decay
and goitre respectively.
3.    
It is
more convenient and readily available for use at home.
4.    
It
reduces the risk of water getting contaminated, because water is confined within
the pipe.

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