Infectious Disease

There are round 7 million water-borne ailments in the US every year

December 18, 2020

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The researchers estimated that around 7 million water-borne diseases occur in the United States each year. This is evident from the results published in Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Sarah A. Collier, MPH, An analytical epidemiologist at the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases of the CDC and colleagues used data from 2000 to 2015 to make the first estimates of the total burden of water-borne diseases in the United States

“Despite having some of the safest drinking water supplies in the world, the United States has approximately 118,000 hospitalizations and 6,600 deaths from water-borne diseases each year,” Collier told Healio. “Most hospitalizations and deaths were attributable to diseases with a respiratory or systemic impact, including Legionnaires’ disease, non-tuberculous mycobacterial infections, and Pseudomonas pneumonia and septicemia. These diseases spread through contaminated water with aerosols. “

Of the 118,000 (95% CI, 86,800-150,000) hospital admissions, 51,400 (95% CI, 26,800-74,100) hospital admissions most frequently reported non-tuberculous infections, followed by otitis externa or “swimmer’s ear” with 23,200 (95)% CI, 13,900 -33,600) hospital stays and Pseudomonas pneumonia with 15,500 hospital stays (95% CI, 4,130-28,100). The study estimated that 77,700 respiratory hospital stays and 10,900 bowel hospital stays were attributed to water transmission.

Of the 6,630 deaths (95% CI, 4,520-8,870), non-tuberculous infections were the most common cause with 3,800 deaths (95% CI, 1,950-5,620), followed by Legionnaires’ disease (995; 95% CI, 655-) 1,310) and Pseudomonas pneumonia (730; 95% CI, 185-1,460). There were an estimated 5,530 deaths from respiratory disease and 131 deaths from enteric disease due to water transmission.

“As this paper shows, millions of people are still diagnosed with water-borne diseases each year,” said Collier. “The water disinfection and treatment methods we have introduced have significantly reduced waterborne diseases over the past century. It is important that we maintain and update our drinking water infrastructure to ensure that our drinking water supplies remain one of the safest in the world. “

According to Collier, the CDC has developed control and prevention recommendations for some of the pathogens discussed in the study. The CDC has established the Model Aquatic Health Code, which is a set of guidelines for recreational water facilities that can help state and local officials save time and resources developing and updating pool codes.

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