9 Severe Health Issues That Can Arise Due to Water Contamination

Every parent knows that their child is their most precious treasure. So when they get sick, it’s heart-wrenching. But when you discover that your child became ill because of something as simple as water contamination? That’s just plain frustrating and stressful for parents. While there are ways to avoid this type of situation, it’s necessary to understand how it happens so you can protect your children from harm. A report says that over 7 million people get sick every year in the US by consuming contaminated water.

Here are some of the health issues that can arise from drinking contaminated water:

Hepatic Steatosis

In Hepatic steatosis, the liver becomes enlarged and fatty, leading to inflammation and an increased risk of developing liver disease. Many things can cause steatosis, but it’s most often associated with drinking contaminated water.

The liver breaks down fat molecules into triglycerides and uses them as fuel for other areas of the body. If there is too much fat in the bloodstream, however, it can cause the liver to become overworked and eventually fail.

Neurobehavioral Disorders

Neuromotor disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, are one of the most common neurobehavioral effects of contaminated water consumption. Parkinson’s is a degenerative disease that affects the nervous system and causes symptoms such as tremors and slowed movement. Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurobehavioral effect in the US after Alzheimer’s. It is estimated that there are more than 500,000 cases in America that have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

Other common symptoms include trouble walking or talking, depression, anxiety, cognitive impairment, sleep disorders, sweating, and fever. Neurobehavioral effects are severe illnesses caused due to water contamination. For example, a major water contamination incident occurred at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. Here hundreds and thousands of people got infected by consuming contaminated water. Among the infected were patients with bladder cancer, Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and esophageal cancer. Parkinson’s disease is also a severe health issue and among the symptoms of Camp Lejeune water contamination.

Campylobacter Infections

As a parent, you know that several things can go wrong with children, like the flu or a stomach bug. One of the most common is diarrhea, which happens when bacteria enters your child’s body, multiplies, and moves out of the digestive tract. It can be caused by various germs, including viruses and bacteria.

Campylobacter is one type of pathogen that causes diarrhea in people who drink contaminated water. It’s spread through contact with other people who have Campylobacter infections or feces from infected animals such as poultry and cattle.

E. coli Infections

E. coli is a bacterium that lives in the intestines of humans, animals, and birds. Infections can occur from swallowing water or food contaminated with animal feces containing E. coli, direct contact with farm animals, or exposure to contaminated water. The most common symptoms are severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting, lasting up to 10 days. While most people will recover on their own, some infections may require medical attention, such as dialysis for kidney failure or surgery for intestinal blockage.

Symptoms may not appear until several days after contact with the bacteria, so it’s necessary to know how you were exposed so you can take steps to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Lead Poisoning

Lead poisoning can cause damage to the brain and nervous system, behavior and learning problems, anemia, hearing loss, seizures, and death. It occurs when children are exposed to high levels of lead in their blood from any source.

Lead poisoning is most common among children living in older homes with peeling or flaking paint. The paint contains lead-based components that become dust when it’s damaged. Children can also be exposed to lead from the soil at play areas, older schools, or daycare centers with deteriorating windows and pipes.

Legionnaire’s Disease and Pontiac Fever

Legionnaire’s disease is a severe form of pneumonia caused by the bacterium Legionella. Pontiac Fever is a milder form of Legionnaire’s Disease and is caused by a different bacterium called Mycoplasma pneumonia. The two diseases can be difficult to distinguish, but if your child has severe symptoms, ensure to consult a doctor as soon as possible, so you know what treatment options are available.

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that can lead to liver failure and death. It’s caused by the hepatitis A virus, which is transmitted through contaminated water. The virus spreads when an infected person doesn’t wash hands properly after going to the bathroom, then prepares food for others without washing hands again.

Symptoms include fever, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, dark urine, and jaundice. Severe cases may cause permanent damage to your liver. If you have hepatitis A with jaundice, you must ensure immediate treatment in the hospital.

Arsenic Poisoning

Arsenic poisoning is one of the most severe health issues due to water contamination in children. Arsenic poisoning leads to severe health problems, including skin and stomach cancer. Other effects include neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and mental illness.

Arsenic poisoning can cause skin changes like darkening of the skin color or an itchy rash on exposed areas of the body like hands, feet, and face. Skin problems may worsen if arsenic exposure continues for a long time. In addition, children exposed to high levels of arsenic have an increased risk of developing cancerous tumors in their bodies.

Esophageal Cancer

Contaminated water consumption is the primary cause of esophageal cancer. The World Health Organization has identified contaminated water as the most common disease source leading to cancer. It is estimated that 80% of all cases of esophageal cancers are related to contaminated water consumption.

The reason for this is simple. When you drink contaminated water, you swallow a lot of germs and parasites that can cause cancer. The most common sources of contaminated water are lakes, rivers, streams, and ponds.

Water Contamination Can Be Life-Threatening

Water contamination can cause severe illnesses in humans. It includes acute gastrointestinal illness, skin rashes, eye irritations, and upper respiratory conditions. In worse conditions, water contamination can cause skin and other cancers that can lead to death.

If you’re a parent, you must ensure your child is always safe and healthy. You can do this by ensuring that your child drinks clean water and lives in a clean environment. If you suspect that something is wrong with your child’s health or if you develop any signs of illness, contact a doctor immediately.

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