Vector-borne vs waterborne diseases: Know difference in signs and symptoms of the monsoon illnesses
Vector-borne and waterborne diseases are two different categories of diseases based on the mode of transmission, but they may have some common symptoms.
Monsoon, the season of incessant rains and highly humid weather is here for some time. Courtesy the non-stop rains in many parts of the country, the problem of waterlogging is on rise. In such weather conditions, it is important to take care of one's health as lack of sunlight and humid weather can be ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes which can put one at risk of vector-borne diseases while contaminated water can cause typhoid, cholera, leptospirosis and other stomach infections. Considering all sorts of diseases are rampant during this time, it's important to know the difference between symptoms of these diseases for the right treatment. Symptoms like high fever, body ache, headache, vomiting are common for mosquito-borne, waterborne and other viral infections. (Also read: Overflowing Yamuna raises risk of dengue; common signs and symptoms of the disease you should know)
Vector-borne diseases and waterborne diseases are two different categories of diseases based on the mode of transmission. We spoke to Dr Vaishali Lokhande, Consultant, Internal Medicine, Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai to understand difference between signs and symptoms of vector-borne and waterborne diseases.
How they are transmitted: Vector-borne diseases are transmitted through the bites of vectors such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas, or flies. These vectors carry pathogens like bacteria, viruses, or parasites that cause the diseases. Common examples of vector-borne diseases include malaria, dengue fever, Zika virus, Lyme disease, and Chikungunya.
Signs and symptoms of vector-borne diseases
These can vary depending on the specific disease, but some general characteristics include:
Fever: Many vector-borne diseases are characterized by high fever.
Body aches and joint pain: Pain in muscles and joints is often observed.
Skin rashes: Some diseases may cause rashes or skin manifestations.
Headache: Frequent headaches are a common symptom.
Fatigue: Feeling tired or weak is commonly reported.
Nausea and vomiting: Gastrointestinal symptoms may occur in some cases.
Enlarged lymph nodes: Swollen lymph nodes may be present in certain diseases.
Respiratory symptoms: In some cases, respiratory symptoms like coughing or difficulty breathing may be present.
How they are caused: Waterborne diseases are caused by the ingestion or contact with water contaminated by pathogenic microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, or parasites. These contaminants can enter the body through drinking water, swimming in contaminated water, or consuming contaminated food washed with contaminated water. Examples of waterborne diseases include cholera, typhoid fever, giardiasis, and hepatitis A.
Signs and symptoms
In cases of waterborne hepatitis, the fever might be for a brief period with malaise and body ache followed by yellowing of skin, eyes and urine with nausea, vomiting & loss of appetite. Whereas, in typhoid the only symptoms could be fever & headache.
Signs and symptoms of waterborne diseases can vary depending on the specific disease, but some common features include:
Gastrointestinal symptoms: Waterborne diseases often affect the gastrointestinal system, leading to symptoms like diarrhoea, abdominal pain, cramps, and nausea.
Vomiting: Some waterborne diseases may cause vomiting in addition to diarrhoea.
Fever: In cases of waterborne hepatitis, the fever might be for a brief period with malaise and body ache followed by yellowing of skin, eyes and urine with nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite. Whereas, in typhoid the only symptoms could be fever and headache.