Waterborne diseases have become a major challenge for the world’s population, especially in the developing countries. According to World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF, it has been estimated that waterborne diseases are mainly responsible for 80% of all illnesses. In India, more than 3000 people die every day and that is due to the diseases that are caused by contaminated water. WHO has also estimated that around 88% of all waterborne illnesses like Cholera, Dysentery, Hepatitis A & E, Typhoid Fever and etc. are caused due to poor hygiene, sanitation and drinking unsafe water.
Know About Hepatitis
Hepatitis mainly refers to an inflammation of the liver and it is commonly caused due to viral infection, but there are other possible causes of hepatitis too. It can even lead to the development of fibrosis (scarring) and liver cancer, which makes it one of the most dangerous water-borne diseases. Hepatitis virus is the most common cause of this disease.
Types of Hepatitis
There are 5 main types of hepatitis viruses commonly known as Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E. Different viruses are responsible for each type of virally transmitted hepatitis. Here, Hepatitis A is responsible for the acute and short-term disease. Hepatitis B, C, and D are most likely to become ongoing and chronic, whereas Hepatitis E is usually acute but it can be particularly dangerous for pregnant women. All of them are responsible for the major cause of liver diseases, but we would discuss on Hepatitis A and Hepatitis E. These two types of hepatitis are caused by the consumption of contaminated water and food.
Hepatitis A Virus (HAV)
HAV or Hepatitis A virus is most often transmitted through the ingestion of contaminated water or food. Infections are mild in several cases, with most of the people making a full retrieval and remaining immune from further Hepatitis A infections. However, HAV infections can also be severe and life-threatening and turns to be one of the most dangerous water-borne diseases. Hepatitis A is a contagious liver infection that is mainly caused by hepatitis A virus that causes inflammation and affects your liver’s ability to function.
You can get affected by hepatitis A from contaminated food or water. There is another way and that is if you stay close contact with a person that is infected. In case of mild problems that you face due to hepatitis A don’t require treatment, but if you are infected with severe liver damage, you should immediately seek doctor’s attention. Make sure to practice good hygiene as this is one of the best practices to protect against hepatitis A.
Symptoms of Hepatitis A
A person who is infected with Hepatitis A can experience different signs and symptoms and these are mentioned below:
- Sudden nausea and vomiting
- Abdominal pain or discomfort
- Clay-coloured bowel movements
- Loss of appetite
- Dark urine, Joint pain
- Yellowing of the skin and Intense itching
Hepatitis E Virus (HEV)
Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is most often transmitted through ingestion of contaminated food or water. HEV is a common cause of hepatitis that outbursts in developing parts of the world. Hepatitis E is a virus that infects your liver and it can cause your liver to swell up. People those who get infected by hepatitis E virus recovers within a few months. Usually, the virus doesn’t lead to long-term illness or liver damage, hepatitis E can be dangerous for pregnant women. It can also be dangerous for anyone who has weak immune systems.
Hepatitis E virus spreads through poop and it can cause due to poor handwashing habits and lack of drinking clean water. You also can get affected with hepatitis E if you eat undercooked meat from infected animals.
Symptoms of Hepatitis E
A person who is infected by Hepatitis E can experience certain symptoms anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks after your infection and some of the symptoms are mentioned below:
- Mild fever, Feeling very tired
- Less hunger and Belly pain
- Dark pee, Light-coloured poop
- Skin rash or itching
- Joint pain
- Yellowish skin or eyes
Follow Safety Precautions
To ensure that you remain safe from Hepatitis A and E, you should follow some safety precautions and these are mentioned below:
- Always peel and wash all fresh fruits and vegetables before eating
- Never eat raw or undercooked meat and fish
- Drink filtered water and even use it when brushing your teeth.
- Try to avoid consuming beverages of unknown purity.
Beside this, you should also practice good hygiene. Make sure to thoroughly wash your hands and that is especially after using the toilet or changing a diaper. You should also maintain cleanliness before preparing food or eating.
In order to get rid of these deadly diseases and the best thing that you should do is to stay safe and healthy. Stay protected from Hepatitis infected people and ensure that you do travel also such places where there is poor sanitation. It is recommended for all to drink clean and pure water every time, which is possible by using water purifier at your home and office. Bring the best brand of water purifier and drink filtered water to stay protected from waterborne illnesses.