A waterborne disease is simply any disease that is contracted by drinking dirty or contaminated water. In under-developed countries, the water is typically contaminated by human and animal feces or a general lack of sanitation. In more developed countries, it can be caused by faulty pipes, pumps, or purification facilities. It’s even possible to get a waterborne disease by eating food that was contaminated by dirty water.
Some of the most well known waterborne diseases are polio, malaria, cholera, and diarrhea. All of these diseases are serious health threats and could lead to death.
The most common waterborne disease that affects tourists in under-developed countries is likely travelers diarrhea. Also known as Delhi Belly or Tourist Trot, an estimated 10 million travelers are affected by it each year. The biggest risk factor for developing travelers diarrhea is your destination.
If you’re traveling to an area that has a high occurrence of waterborne diseases, do your due diligence to prepare so that you don’t contract anything while you’re on the road.
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