If you don't get the heebie-jeebies thinking about parasites being in your water--major props to you! You have a higher 'ew' tolerance than we do! If you do get squeamish thinking about parasites hanging out in your water and then ingesting them--Berkey is here to help! Take that risk factor out and rest easy knowing that Berkey removes parasites.
What are Parasites?
Living things that use (and abuse) other living things. They live and feed off of a host, such as your body. They can be small, one-celled protozoa organisms or large worms.
Parasites cause parasitic diseases such as giardia, toxoplasmosis, and malaria. They cause infection through contaminated water, food, bug bites, or sexual contact. Some parasitic diseases are easily treated and some are not, that's why prevention is the best way to ward off parasites. Not all diseases caused by parasites can be treated with medicine.
Health Concerns with Parasites
Left untreated, water may be a source of rare parasites and amoebas, which causes infection and diseases, some of which may be fatal. Each parasite affects the body differently; however, in most cases, gastrointestinal distress is present. Symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and fever often occur when a water-borne, parasitic infection occurs.
Common Parasitic Diseases:
Toxoplasmosis--causes flu-like symptoms (fever, malaise, headache, sore throat) or gastrointestinal signs and/or a rash. In severe cases, some may develop schizophrenia or epilepsy. Caused by the protozoal parasite Toxoplasma gondii which can survive for long periods, perhaps lifelong, in the tissues of most or all hosts. If you don't want to sleep peacefully tonight, keep reading...
Dysentery--causes infection of the intestines, severe diarrhea with blood and mucus in the feces. Caused by shigella bacteria (shigellosis) or an amoeba.
Cholera--causes infection of the intestines. watery diarrhea, vomiting, and leg cramps. Untreated, can cause rapid loss of body fluids leading to dehydration, shock, and death within hours. Caused by bacterium Vibrio cholerae.
Cryptosporidiosis--causes watery diarrhea, stomach cramps or pain, lack of appetite, weight loss, bloating, nausea and vomiting, slight fever, fatigue, and/or flatulence. Caused by Cryptosporidium which has an outer shell that protects it so that it can live outside a host body for long periods of time. It is very resistant to chlorine-based disinfectants.
While many will suffer through a parasitic infection and derive benefits from a round of antibiotics, there are segments of the population who are extremely vulnerable to these infections. For infants, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems, parasitic infections may be fatal. Understanding how parasites travel through the environment and survive in water is paramount for finding suitable treatment methods for preventing contamination. Science shows that the most effective way to prevent water-borne parasitic outbreaks is through providing safe, clean drinking water.
Water-borne parasites are a serious environmental health concern that may have a devastating impact on human health. While some associate water-borne disease with third-world countries, parasitic illnesses such as the 1993 Milwaukee cryptosporidiosis outbreak show that developed countries are not immune to contamination.
How to Avoid Parasites
Always heed the warnings and recommendations of your city and state water department and follow any alerts activated.
Avoiding contact with contaminated swimming and bathing sources, as well as having access to purified drinking water, are the only safe methods available for preventing water-borne, parasitic infection. Those who suffer from parasitic infections caused by drinking water or other water sources should seek the advice of their health care provider.
Berkey water purification systems are a trusted method for ensuring safe water in the home or office or on the go. Reducing the transmission of water-borne parasites and infections is not a job left solely to government leaders; every citizen can play a part. Safe hygiene practices, frequent hand-washing, avoiding contaminated water sources and ensuring you and your family have access to purified water all contribute to public health and safety. Water plays an important role in human life. From drinking water for survival and bathing to recreational purposes, H20 is an essential, life-giving liquid. When contaminated, water becomes the source of potentially serious harm and illness. Preventing water-borne disease and infection is a vital component to enjoying a healthy life.The number of parasites that infest drinking water is vast. Protect yourself, your family, and your pets by only using the cleanest water--Berkey water.