H2bid Blog

5 Water Related Diseases You Should Be on The Look-Out For

Water-borne illness is more common in the United States than people think. Even water sources in urban cities can become contaminated because of natural causes, poor wastewater managementcRed Link , or lack of infrastructure. While many of us are familiar with illnesses like E. Coli, cholera and dysentery, there are many more to be aware of! Here are 5 water related diseases to look-out for:

1. Salmonella

Salmonella is normally associated with raw meat — but it’s also transmitted through fruits and vegetables, and drinking water. The bacteria contaminates river water through animal feces. People who are infected experience chills, cramps, a long-lasting fever, and diarrhea. With enough rest and hydration a reasonably healthy person should be able to recover without going to the hospital.

2. Giardiasis

Giardiasis is caused by a parasite, usually living in soil and human feces. People traveling internationally, children in public childcare and anyone who drinks freshwater without first disinfecting it are the most vulnerable to Giardiasis. Close to 5,000 people are hospitalized every year in the United States, displaying symptoms like vomiting and nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, and headaches.

3. Legionnaires

Legionnaires’ disease is a type of pneumonia transmitted by water droplets in the air. The bacteria that causes it is found in freshwater, like lakes and streams, as well as man-made places where water temperature tends to be high — like hot tubs, showerheads and faucets.

4. Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a liver disease found in water contaminated by feces. Symptoms include pale stool, dark urine, jaundice, fever, and fatigue, among others. Thankfully, it is perfectly treatable and you can be vaccinated against it.


HABS is the abbreviated term for “harmful algal blooms.” These cyanobacterial blooms can become overgrown in fresh water sources and present a serious health risk to those who come in contact with it. Prolonged contact can result in allergic reactions like rashes and hay-fever.