Hygienic conditions necessary to prevent waterborne diseases: Ludhiana vet varsity experts
During monsoons, blockage and overflow of sewage pipes is a major source of contamination of drinking water supplyUpdated: Jul 10, 2020 22:29 IST
Experts from school of public health and zoonoses, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), have cautioned residents to take necessary precautions to prevent waterborne disease during the monsoons as it could prove dangerous in the current scenario when the entire health system is focused on curtailing the spread of Covid-19.
Dr RS Aulakh, director, school of public health and zoonoses, said waterborne disease can be parasitic, bacterial and viral, many of which are intestinal pathogens.
Many waterborne diseases including giardiasis, cryptosporidiosis, hepatitis A and E viral infections (jaundice), leptospirosis, typhoid, cholera and food poisonings can occur due to drinking contaminated water, he said.
Infection commonly occurs when contaminated water is used for bathing, washing, drinking and preparation of food.
He said that according to the World Health Organisation, diarrheal diseases account for more than 4% the total daily diseases worldwide and is responsible for the deaths of about 20 lakh people every year. It is estimated that about 90% of these can be attributed to unsafe water supply, sanitation and hygiene, and is mostly concentrated in developing countries.
During monsoons, blockage and overflow of sewage pipes is a major source of contamination of drinking water supply. Further, the resulting stagnant waters act as breeding grounds for mosquitoes leading to increased risks of diseases such as dengue and malaria.
Therefore, people should take preventive measures like ensuring that water does not accumulate in and around their houses.
Moreover, water storage tanks may be a major source of contamination and their periodic maintenance and disinfection is necessary to preserve water quality.
Experts from GADVASU have recommended that the water tanks be sanitised at least twice a year, and water should be periodically tested for the presence of bacteria and other contaminants.
In addition, water purifiers or filters installed in houses should be of good quality. There should be proper maintenance of filters that may act as a potential source of microbial contamination of water, if not cleaned properly from time to time.
In case of any doubt, the water sample should be got tested from authorised laboratories. Such facility is also available at the school of public health and zoonoses in the university. Thus, a significant amount of disease can be prevented through better access to safe water supply, adequate sanitation facilities and better hygiene practices.