- 15 July 2018
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Do Infections Spread Through Food And Water?
Monsoon is here and the rain just breathes a fresh lease of life into everything around. In fact, on a rainy day, all you want to do is curl up and watch a movie with some good food and something hot to drink, isn’t it?
But then, not everything that tastes good is suitable for your health. Rains also bring with them a host of several diseases, with most of these making their way through the water you drink and the food you eat.
Have you ever fallen sick after food outside?
Do you make sure that whatever you eat and drink is safe?
Not all the time.
There are also infections that you acquire from water and food that are contaminated.
Here are the water and food-borne infections that you should be aware of.
What Are Food And Water-Borne Illnesses?
Food and water-borne illnesses are irritations or infections in the gastrointestinal tract caused by contaminated food and water. The contaminated food and beverages contain bacteria, parasites, viruses, protozoa, and chemicals that are harmful to your health.
In most of the cases, foodborne diseases are most acute, people can recover in a few days with proper treatment. Consumption of contaminated water that contains bacteria and pathogenic microorganisms may cause unpleasant symptoms but mostly they can be cured. In some complicated situations both the infections can be fatal. Foodborne diseases are commonly known as food poisoning. Food and waterborne infections can affect anybody at any time, but it becomes more complicated in
- Very young children and the elder people
- If you are immunocompromised which can be due to HIV/AIDS or if you have had an organ transplant.
- People with diabetes, heart disease, lung disease or liver disease
- Pregnant women and their fetus
How Does Food And Water Get Contaminated?
Any type of food that is not cleaned or cooked adequately can cause foodborne infection. Food can be contaminated at any point if
- Food producing plants get contaminated by soil, animal waste fertilizers, or water.
- Animals like chicken, fish, beef, or any other form of meat if not cooked properly might contain bacteria like salmonella which can make people sick.
- Workers in the food industry particularly those who do not use sanitary techniques and if they are sick can pass on the illness.
- Milk and juices that are unpasteurized. Also, food that is left out too long without a proper covering can allow flies and bacterias to grow on it
The waterborne infections occur due to consumption of contaminated water. This can be due to the untreated water that you use for cooking and drinking purposes. Most of the water bodies are contaminated due to the use of pesticides, and chemical wastes from industries that directly flow into it. Some of the waterborne diseases are caused due to water contaminated with human or animal sewage.
When this water is used for washing, cooking, and cleaning the contamination spreads. There are a lot of microorganisms in the water that is why it is important to heat water before drinking.
What Are The Symptoms?
The common symptoms of water and foodborne infections include:
- Abdominal pain
- A headache
- Muscle weakness
Diseases Caused By Water And Foodborne Infections
Common waterborne diseases are travelers diarrhea, dysentery, salmonella, campylobacter, cholera, typhoid, hepatitis A and B, worms.
Commonly found foodborne diseases are clostridium perfringens, E.coli, norovirus,
staphylococcus aureus, and Toxoplasma.
Treatment And Preventions
Most of the water and foodborne infections caused by bacteria and viruses are self-limited and they require only supportive care like fluid replacement and rest. Hygiene is important so that the contamination is ceased.
If the patients have severe symptoms, hospitalization will be required. If the infection is caused by bacteria, then it can be treated with antibiotics. Parasitic infections can be treated with the help of drug treatment.
There are several ways to prevent food and waterborne illnesses on an individual level like:
- Cooking food at proper temperature adequately.
- Washing hands thoroughly before preparing food or eating, after using toilets with soap or handwashes. Always keep an alcohol-based sanitizer with you.
- Keeping food safely and with proper cover.
- Do not drink untreated water or unpasteurized milk or juices.
- Good food habits while traveling.
- Always drink boiled water.
Food and water are important for leading a healthy life, so it is important that you go for the safest options while having food outside. The most important thing is always to stay well hydrated. If you develop any food or waterborne infections there is nothing to worry about when you get the proper treatment and care from the doctors at Sunshine Hospitals.
About Sunshine Hospitals:
A Multi Super Speciality Institution, 500 bedded Sunshine Hospitals (Paradise Circle, Secunderabad) is promoted by globally reputed Joint Replacement Surgeon Dr. AV Gurava Reddy (Orthopedic Doctor) and like-minded associates who share the objective of making world-standard healthcare available, affordable and accessible to the common man. Sunshine has now become one of the best hospitals for many treatments including Orthopedic, Gastroenterology, Cardiology, Trauma and Neurology.