June 18, 2024

Common Waterborne Diseases: The Connection Between Contamination and Illness

  • November 25, 2022
  • 4 min read
Common Waterborne Diseases: The Connection Between Contamination and Illness

Everyone knows that water is essential for human health, but what about the potential dangers lurking in our waterways? From gastrointestinal illnesses to skin rashes, waterborne diseases can cause a lot of discomforts and even serious illness.

Fortunately, most people can combat the dangers of waterborne pathogens by practicing good hygiene and using safe products while washing their hands or bathing in contaminated water. However, not all people are as lucky. Certain groups of people are at a higher risk of developing certain diseases because of where they live and the environmental conditions around them. Here are some of the common waterborne diseases and why they might put you at risk:


Also known as stomach flu, gastroenteritis is one of the most common causes of illness and dehydration in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this illness is caused by a germ known as Norovirus. The virus thrives in warm, moist environments such as swimming pools and public restrooms and is transmitted from person to person via contaminated food and water. Although some people may have no symptoms at all, others may experience vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pains. In severe cases, this condition can lead to dehydration and can be fatal if not treated properly.

Skin Rashes

A rash can appear anywhere on the body, but it most often appears on the arms, legs, neck, face, or buttocks. There are many types of rashes, some more dangerous than others. For example, eczema and hives are both mild skin conditions that rarely cause serious health problems. On the other hand, some rashes can be caused by bacteria or viruses and can spread to other areas of the body if left untreated. Waterborne viruses often spread through contact with infected people or through contaminated food that has been handled by someone who is sick.

Image by Nika Akin from Pixabay

Respiratory Infections

Viral respiratory infections are a leading cause of childhood deaths around the world. Many of the most common respiratory viruses spread easily through saliva, sneezes, coughs, and other bodily fluids. Washing your hands and coughing into a tissue is a good way to limit the spread of these viruses and prevent infection. Water Contamination has been shown to create outbreaks of numerous types of viral infections, including respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza.

Who Is at Risk?

Anyone can get infected with a waterborne disease if they come into contact with contaminated water or food. However, some people are at greater risk than others. Children are particularly vulnerable to waterborne illnesses because their bodies are still developing, and they have weaker immune systems than adults. Older adults and people with weakened immune systems are also more likely to become ill. Anyone swimming in a public pool or using the public restroom is also at risk. Individuals who work with food or water may also be exposed to contaminants and therefore need to be extra careful when handling these items.

Instances like the Camp Lejeune incident serve to remind us that these outbreaks can happen anywhere and are potentially dangerous for individuals of all ages. Exposure at Camp Lejeune affected thousands of Marines and their family members. Many of the victims were children who lived on the military base, which raises concerns about their long-term health.

Seeking Legal Action

If you were the victim of a waterborne disease outbreak caused by negligence on the part of your employer or the facility where you worked, you may be eligible for financial compensation. You will need to gather evidence of the incident and talk to an attorney who handles personal injury cases in order to determine the best course of action in your case.

Studies have shown that exposure to pollutants can lead to a wide range of health problems, including skin conditions like rashes and acne, respiratory problems, and cognitive impairment. A personal injury claim can help you obtain compensation for your injuries and help you heal so that you can focus on recovery without worrying about the cost of medical care and other expenses.


Water contamination can cause serious harm to your health. If you are the victim of a waterborne disease outbreak, you may be eligible for compensation from the responsible party. If you suffered a serious injury that impacted your ability to work or caused additional expenses, an attorney can evaluate your case and help you fight for the compensation you deserve.

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