Prevention of water-borne diseases
New Delhi, : Safe water is essential for the prevention of most water and food-borne diseases like diarrhoea, typhoid and jaundice. These diseases are 100% preventable. All of them can be life-threatening if not prevented, diagnosed or treated in time. Transmission of parasitic infections can also occur with contaminated water.
Raising awareness about the same, Dr SS Agarwal – National President IMA & Padma Shri Awardee Dr KK Aggarwal – Honorary Secretary General IMA & President HCFI said, “According to a report by the United Nation, over 1 lakh people in India die of water-borne diseases annually. This situation is preventable and the medical fraternity can play a great role in educating the masses about the direct relationship between maintaining water hygiene and health. One of the major reasons for the high disease incidence is that about 70 per cent of water supply in our country is majorly polluted with sewage effluents. It is high-time a joint effort was made to keep our surroundings clean and water uncontaminated.”
A few tips which can help prevent water borne diseases include:
· Travelers should avoid consuming tap water.
· Avoid ice made from tap water.
· Avoid any food rinsed in tap water
· Chlorination kills most bacterial and viral pathogens.
· Chlorination does not kill giardia or amoeba cysts
· Chlorination does not kill Cryptosporidium.
· Boiled/Treated/Bottled water is safe.
· Carbonated drinks, wine and drinks made with boiled water are safe.
· Freezing does not kill organisms that cause diarrhea. Ice in drinks is not safe unless it has been made from adequately boiled or filtered water.
· Alcohol does not sterilize water or the ice. Mixed drinks may still be contaminated.
· Hot tea and coffee are the best alternates to boiled water.
· Bottled drinks should be requested without ice and should be drunk from the bottle with a straw rather than with a glass.
· Boiling water for 3 minutes followed by cooling to room temperature will kill bacterial parasites.
· Adding two drops of 5% sodium hydrochloride (bleach) to quarter of water (1 liter) will kill most bacteria