Top 10 Diseases Caused by Polluted Water

“Time destroys the speculation of men, but it confirms the judgment of nature”- Marcus Tullius Cicero

Nature is benevolent and graceful to her children. One such precious gift is the colorless liquid, water that itself is a bestowal to our generation. But do we really care for our coming generation! Do we really wish to keep our future children left untouched by the boon!

The heavenly abode has been transformed and mistreated in such a way that the nature that was once worshipped has been provoked to become a place of menace. The rate of pollution is increasing at an alarming rate with very few corrective measures being taken. New pathogens are genetically born giving rise to new diseases.

Water pollution is rising globally! An estimate shows that more the 2 million people die every year due to water pollution. The urbanization and industrialization has led to the holy water bodies being reduced to storage of human feces and pollutants. The waste and toxic chemicals that are excreted by the industries have led to many pathogens and disease causing microorganisms. The mismanaged and the underdeveloped sewage system has led to many diseases. More vulnerable in this case are underdeveloped and developing countries.  Up to 90% of waste water in developing countries flows untreated into rivers , lakes, and highly productive coastal zones, threatening health, food security.

The major diseases caused due to water pollution are listed below. A major contributor of organic water pollutant are food sector, fertilizers, and human wastes. A huge chunk of government’s treasure is spent on the treatment for survival of its subject.


1. Polio


This is one of the worst diseases that can happen. This is caused by a poliovirus, which is highly contagious virus specific to humans. Polio can lead to paralysis or death of the sufferer. The transmission takes place due to infected water. Polio vaccines are given to children to prevent this deadly disease as no cure is available for Polio. Millions of people, especially children , pregnant women and the ones whose immune system is very weak are vulnerable to this disease.


2. Arsenicosis


Arsenicosis , is term referring to increased levels of arsenic and lead in the human body caused to polluted water. This long term exposure to arsenic can lead to cancer, and malfunctioning of vital organs like lungs, intestine and stomach. Millions of people are under the danger of arsenic poisoning as the municipality water public use, is feared to have increased levels of arsenic.


3. Diarrhea


This is the most infamous and common disease, the world faces and it is caused due to infected consumption of water. The patient suffers from watery excreta consequently resulting in dehydration and loss of salt and minerals from the body.  Diarrhea is caused by a variety of microorganisms especially virus, bacteria, protozoans. About 4 billion cases of diarrhea per year cause 1.8 million deaths, over which 90% are children less than 5 years. A simple act of washing hands and simple hygiene can prevent this disease.


4. Schistosomiasis


This horrible and life taking disease is caused by a parasite belonging to the genus Schistosoma. This disease can impair children’s growth and lead to chronic illness. Individuals within developing countries who cannot afford clean water suffer from this problem. At many stages of life, worms and eggs survive in fresh water snails, water and human hosts. People who come in contact with this infected water are prone to get affected as these parasites penetrate the human body while swimming, washing clothes or bathing in the contaminated water. Around 200 million people are infected with schistosomiasis out of which 20 million people suffer unfortunate consequences as their liver, gallbladder, lungs and intestine are badly damaged.


5. Malaria


It is one of most common diseases for people living near stagnant water lodging , tanks breeding mosquitoes and uncovered pits. These areas serve as a prominent location for multiplication of mosquitoes. The mosquitoes carry a parasite with them which causes malaria when humans are bitten by them. Many people die and suffer due to this disease. High fever and vomiting are common symptoms for a patient suffering malaria accompanied by shivering.  Around 300 million cases are registered for malaria and I million children die sue to improper medication facility and hygienic environment. It is imperative to have clean environment with covered water holdings.




It is a disease that affects the human immune system. As the infection progresses, the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The initial infection may cause small symptoms but finally attack the immune system making the patient very weak and vulnerable. These people are likely to get tumors due to immune system breakdown. AIDS was first generated in South Africa and is transmitted during unprotected relations, contaminated blood transfusions, and hypodermic needles and from mother to a child. There is no cure or vaccine for the disease. AIDS affected people are more susceptible to water borne diseases as compared to healthy individual thereby reducing and shattering the immune system. Maintaining a clean and sober environment, hygiene and good food quality certainly helps the HIV/AIDS patient to last longer and healthier.


7. Fluorosis


It is caused due to high amount of fluorine in the groundwater. This has led to increased content of fluorine concentration in body leading to many defects and problems. The disease is endemic in at least 25 countries. The exact number of affected people are not known, surely the number comes in million. Fluorosis can lead to many problems including yellow teeth which are damaged and shattered by fluorine, problems relating to bones, jaw problems, spinal cord problems and many more.


8. Guinea Worm Disease

Guinea Worm Disease

Dracunculiasis, also known as Guinea worm disease is caused by one of the best historically documented human parasites. These parasites increase very rapidly inside the body resulting in debilitating ulcers after few months. The disease was once famous in states of Africa and Asia, but now has become endemic and currently exists only in four countries of Africa. The symptoms include fever, nausea and vomiting. Dirty water breeding fleas, hosting Dracunculus larva in poorer regions is now being eradicated due to international initiative.


9. Typhoid and Cholera


It is a common worldwide bacterial disease which is transmitted by intake of contaminated water containing human excreta of infected person. It is caused due to bacterium Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi. Once this bacterium enters the body, it starts replicating itself leading to high fever, vomiting, rashes and many others. Improper sanitation and its dumping is one of the major reasons for this disease. Around 12 million people are struck by this disease every year. Cholera is an acute bacterial infection of the intestinal tract caused by the bacterium Vibrio Cholerae. The main symptoms are diarrhea and vomiting which can lead to death if not treated accurately. In 2002, about 120,000 reports were recorded for Cholera cases worldwide.


10. Trachoma


Granular Conjunctivitis or Egyptian ophthalmia, it is the major cause for infectious blindness in the world. The eye infection is caused by the Chlamydia trachomatis bacterium resulting in roughness and irritation in the inner surface of the eyelids. The symptoms include red eye or the indications of conjunctivitis. Further symptoms may include eye discharge, swollen lids, and increased heart rate. Almost millions of people are hunted by this disease every year. Women are more vulnerable to this disease than men. Studies have found that providing adequate water supply will reduce the infection rates by 25%.

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