Bottoms Up: What’s in Your Unpurified Drinking Water?
About two million people die every year due to food and waterborne diarrhea, according to the World Health Organization.
Over 200 diseases were known to have originated from contaminated food and drinks, from diarrhea to cancers. This makes it all the more important to ensure the cleanliness of our drinking water.
Clean, uncontaminated water is essential to our health. We’ve been told over and over that drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated have numerous benefits for our health, but what if what we’re drinking isn’t safe?
Lurking in the Water
When we drink contaminated water, or eat food prepared using tainted water, we’re putting ourselves and our loved ones in danger. The first step to protecting your family is getting to know the threats.
Here are some of the most common waterborne diseases that you might get from drinking contaminated water.
This is a condition of having at least three liquid or loose bowel movements per day. This is common in intestinal diseases, such as cholera, and is often associated with abdominal pains, bloating, gassiness, and dehydration.
In the Philippines, it is the third leading cause of child sickness and the fourth leading cause of death for children under five years old. Viruses, bacteria, or parasites may cause the condition. Immediate treatment involves oral rehydration or intravenous (IV) therapy.
Most casualties actually die from fluid loss and severe dehydration.
2. Typhoid Fever
This is a bacterial disease caused by the Salmonella typhi bacteria and occurs by ingesting waste-contaminated food or drink. In 2013 (January-November), 28,224 cases of suspected or clinically diagnosed typhoid fever were recorded in the Philippines. A total 5,637 of which were reported in the National Capital Region, and Regions 6, 7, and 8.
Common symptoms include persistent high fever that lasts for a week or more, abdominal manifestations (such as pains, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, etc.) and any of the following: fatigue, poor appetite, enlarged liver or spleen, rose spots, and low heart rate.
It is treatable with antibiotics, but treatment can be complicated by growing resistance.
This diarrheal disease is caused by an acute infection of the small intestine by the bacteria Vibrio cholerae. It is more common in places with poor sanitation and unsafe drinking water.
Symptoms include abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, dehydration, and severe diarrhea. In 2011, diarrhea (linked to cholera) was one of the top causes of death. One of the most common causes of outbreaks in the country is contaminated water sources.
About 80% of cholera cases may be treated with oral rehydration salts.
This is a type of gastroenteritis caused by the microscopic parasite, Entamoeba histolytica, which infects the bowels. While it can infect anyone, it is more common in young to middle aged adults.
The most common symptoms include diarrhea (bloody), stomach cramps, and fever. In rare cases, the infection can cause an abscess (infection) in the liver. The most recent, publicized incident of this in the country was in Cebu, where more than 200 people from 20 baranggays were hospitalized due to amoebiasis and diarrhea, caused by contaminated water.
Medication is available as treatment.
5. E. Coli
Escherichia coli is a bacterium that often lives in the intestines and can get into our food and drinking water. There are hundreds of strains of E. coli; some are harmless while others can make us sick.
Infections can cause diarrhea, urinary tract infection, pneumonia, respiratory diseases, and other illnesses.
Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) is one of the most common strains related with foodborne outbreaks. Common symptoms include stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, and headaches.
In July 2015, nearly 2000 individuals got sick from eating durian candies possibly contaminated with E. coli or salmonella.
Other waterborne diseases stemming from contaminated water include salmonella, hepatitis A, legionella, giardiasis, and dysentery.
Filtering the Problems
The journey your containers take from your home to the refilling station and back subjects them to contamination. From the hands that touch the container, to the countertop where it is placed, there are a lot of opportunities for our water to be contaminated.
The best way to avoid getting sick from contaminated water is by ensuring your drinking water is clean and safe through the use of in-home water purifiers. Our Pureit water purifiers do away with the need for manual handling and transport, minimizing opportunities for contamination. The World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund even endorse household water treatment using point-of-use purifiers as an effective protection against waterborne diseases.
In-home purifiers are becoming more popular, but not all can provide an acceptable level of safety. A truly reliable water purifier must:
- Have disinfection or germkill technology, not just filtration. Filtration only removes suspended
solids and impurities, but it does not kill microorganisms.
- Meet the standards of the US Environmental Protection Agency, as certified by leading independent laboratories and certification bodies.
- Have a means of indicating when it is time to replace consumables (such as the filters) and have a mechanism for shutting off once the disinfection or germkill cartridge has run out.
Pureit does these and more to keep you and your loved ones safe from waterborne diseases. Take a proactive step in sourcing your drinking water by getting only the best from Pureit.
More importantly, be more aware of what you’re drinking. Water is life, but neglecting sanitation could cost you yours.