Viruses and your water

Some people are more concerned with waterborne viruses than other drinking water contaminants because, unlike chemical contaminants like pharmaceuticals and heavy metals which have to build up over time in the human body before they can pose any significant danger, viruses present immediate health risks.

The good news is that there are already existing water purification systems that can achieve up to 99.999% reduction of these threats.

Harmful effects of viruses on the human body

Health risks brought about by waterborne viruses range from short-term illnesses like gastroenteritis to life-threatening diseases like hepatitis A.

Viral gastroenteritis

Viral gastroenteritis, which also goes by the names gastric flu, stomach flu, or stomach virus, is typically caused by drinking water contaminated by human and animal feces that may come from sewage, septic tanks and latrines. In other words, it is common in areas with poor sanitation. Gastroenteritis outbreaks may also occur in areas hit by floods.

The Norwalk or norovirus, rotavirus, adenovirus, and astrovirus are some of the most common types of viruses that cause viral gastroenteritis. People afflicted with this illness usually exhibit fever, headache, gastrointestinal discomfort, vomiting, and diarrhea.

That last symptom (diarrhea) can cause a person to lose considerable amounts of body water and salts, resulting in dehydration. Once it reaches this point and remains unchecked, the person can be in grave danger. According to the World Health Organization, diarrhea claims up to 2.2 million deaths in the world every year. That comprises about 4% of all causes of deaths.

Most of the diarrhea victims are children. In fact, diarrhea is the 2nd leading cause of death in children under 5 years of age.

Hepatitis A

Like viral gastroenteritis, Hepatitis A can afflict humans in places having poor sanitary conditions. It is caused by the hepatitis A virus which, when ingested through contaminated food or water, attacks the liver.

Every year, tens of millions of people are infected with hepatitis A worldwide. Those who get the virus suffer from fever, chills, abdominal discomfort, loss of appetite and nausea. They may also exhibit jaundice and release dark urine.

Although hepatitis A is not as deadly as either hepatitis B or hepatitis C, there are instances when it leads to acute liver failure (fulminant hepatitis). This one is life-threatening .

Many of these waterborne diseases can be avoided by bringing water to a boil before drinking. This should be enough to destroy the viruses carrying them. However, boiling water is a time-consuming process. If you want a more time-effective way of eliminating waterborne viruses, then a reliable water purification system would be your best bet.


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