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Waterborne Illness

Several different disease-causing agents can be spread by water. Many, like Giardia, Salmonella, E. coli 0157:H7 (EHEC) and Shigella, are primarily spread from person to person or contaminated food, but can also contaminate water and cause disease.

For some agents, water is the principal mode of transmission. Cryptosporidium spp. is a parasite that can survive chlorination in municipal water supplies and swimming pools. Legionella is a bacteria that is found naturally in water, but can cause disease when aerosolized and breathed in. Primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM) is a rare but severe disease caused by different species of amoebas, most commonly Naeglaria fowleri that occur in natural bodies of water. Vibrio is a group of water-dwelling bacteria that can cause a variety of diseases, including cholera and other diarrheal diseases.

Please use the links for additional information about selected waterborne diseases and health tips:

Cyanobacteria (Blue-green algae)
E. coli 0157:H7 (EHEC)

Vibriosis, including cholera
Primary Amoebic Meningoencephalitis (PAM)

Recreational Water Illnesses (30k.pdf)
Safe Water During a Boil Advisory or Emergency (14k.pdf)

Healthy Swimming Information
Waterborne Diseases Infographic (1.6M pdf)

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