Drinking water blamed in hundreds of illnesses, 13 deaths, CDC reports

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Drinking water blamed in hundreds of illnesses, 13 deaths, CDC reports

CNN

Clear water does not indicate clean water, suggests two new reports published by the Disease Control and Prevention US centers.

In 2013-14, 42 drinking water related outbreaks caused infectious pathogens due to toxins or chemicals, but there was no lead contamination. These outbreaks resulted in 1006 illness cases , 124 hospitalizations, and 13 deaths across Arizona, Alaska, Idaho, Florida, Maryland, Kansas, Indiana, Montana, Michigan, North Carolina, New York, Oregon, Ohio, Tennessee, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

The drinking water outbreak numbers also increased and became the reason for the increase in disease. Legionella caused 57% of the outbreaks, and Legionella bacteria were in the environment. Legionellosis is a less severe respiratory disease, also referred to as Legionnnaire’s disease.


The symptoms are fever, headaches, muscle pain, breath shortness, and cough.
Legionella bacteria entered the drinking water through various activities, said the Subra Co president, Wilma Subra, an environmental consulting firm.

Frequently, water systems were chlorinated before distribution, explained Subra, but the chlorination level was insufficient. Thus, if the bacteria exist and fail to get treated before leaving the plant, it grows, contaminating the distribution system and resulting in people becoming ill, said Subra.

Cryptosporidium or Crypto and Giardia are parasites that cause diarrheal illness resulting in eight outbreaks. “Giardia is alive in groundwater sources,” said Subra.
The report revealed 75% of the 1,006 cases of illness associated to community water systems that are government-regulated.

The waterborne disease outbreaks are fewer than 70s or 80s, yet it is believed that the data has not captured all the cases or outbreaks that occurred in 2013-14. However, action is required to be taken.

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