Your Health and You
Water is the number one mostly consumed nutrient in the world. But, more than 2.2 billion people do not have access to clean water. One third of this threatened population lives in sub-Sahara Africa. According to W.H.O, close to half the population of the developing world is suffering from waterborne diseases. Therefore, the adverse impact of water-borne disease is obvious in sub-Sahara Africa. We will use this page to highlight some of the cause and antidote of some water-borne diseases.
Water borne Diseases
Waterborne diseases are caused by micro-organisms like bacteria, virus, protozoa, and helminths (parasitic worms) in water storage facilities or in other source of water supply. These harmful micro-organisms cause various forms of diseases. Sickness occurs when contaminated water with these pathogens is consumed or when food prepared with contaminated water is ingested. Pathogen is anything that can produce disease. Such pathogens are present in human and animal feces and dirty environment. Contamination by such pathogens commonly occurs in areas of the world where adequate sanitation is not available or where good hygiene practices are lacking.
Diarrhea is a common symptom of waterborne diseases. W.H.O estimates that diarrhea kills about 1.5 million children, most of whom were under 5 years of age. Each year there are approximately 4 billion cases of diarrhea worldwide. In Nigeria, cholera, typhoid fever and hepatitis A are endemic and these diseases are caused by bacteria and are among the common diarrheal diseases. Other illnesses such as dysentery are caused by parasite that live in water contaminated by people who do not wash their contaminated hands, or touching something handled by an infected person and then putting their own hands into their mouths. Infected flies and animals are also carriers of these diseases.
Water-borne diseases are preventable. Most people who live in developed countries never experience any form of water-borne disease because the level of sanitation and safe water is widely impressive and personal and domestic hygiene is relatively good.
Key to improving the health of those who do commonly experience these diseases are:
• Access to clean, safe water
• Improved sanitation
• Good personal and food hygiene
• Health education about how disease is spread
• Timely treatment of the disease
WATERBORNE DISEASES, THEIR SYMPTOMS, SCOPE OF PROBLEM, TREATMENT AND INTERVENTION STRATEGIES.
Cyanobacteria or blue-green algae occur worldwide especially in calm, nutrient-rich waters. Some species of cyanobacteria produce toxins that affect animals and humans. Sunlight propagates Cyanobacteria. In this sense, a Water Storage Tank exposed to sunlight should be regularly monitored to check for Cyanobacteria growth. People exposed to cyanobacteria toxins by drinking or bathing contaminated water. The most frequent and serious health effects are caused by drinking water containing the toxins (cyanobacteria) or by ingestion during recreational water contact. In many cases, we notice blue-green substances in our Water Storage Tank. This is obvious when the WST has not been wash for a long period of time. Contact with this substance is harmful to human health.
Cyanobacteria are also known as blue-green algae, so named because these organisms have characteristics of both algae and bacteria, although they are now classified as bacteria. The blue-green color comes from their ability to photosynthesize, like plants. Cyanobacteria toxins are classified by how they affect the human body. Hepatotoxins (which affect the liver) are produced by some strains of the cyanobacteria: Microcystis, Anabaena, Oscillatoria, Nodularia, Nostoc, Cylindrospermopsis and Umezakia. Neurotoxins (which affect the nervous system) are produced by some strains of Aphanizomenon and Oscilatoria. Cyanobacteria from the species Cylindroapermopsis raciborski may also produce toxic alkaloids, causing gastrointestinal symptoms or kidney disease in humans. Not all cyanobacteria of these species form toxins and it is likely that there are as yet unrecognized toxins.
The disease and how it affects people
Diseases due to cyanobacteria toxins vary according to the type of toxin and the type of water or water-related exposure (drinking, skin contact, teeth brushing etc.). Humans are affected with a range of symptoms including skin irritation, stomach cramps, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, fever, sore throat, headache, muscle and joint pain, blisters of the mouth and liver damage. Swimmers in water containing cyanobacteria toxins may suffer allergic reactions, such as asthma, eye irritation, rashes, and blisters around the mouth and nose.
The organisms can grow rapidly in favorable conditions, such as calm nutrient-rich fresh or marine waters in warm climates or during the late summer months in cooler parts of the world. Remarkably, the growth of blue-green algae is obvious in a Water Storage Tank especially when the tank is neglected. Blooms of cyanobacteria tend to occur repeatedly in the same water, posing a risk of repeated exposure to some human populations. Cyanobacteria toxins in lakes, ponds, and dugouts in various parts of the world have long been known to cause poisoning in animals and humans; one of the earliest reports of their toxic effects was in China.
Scope of the Problem
Cyanobacteria have been linked to illness in various regions throughout the world, including North and South America, Africa, Australia, Europe, Scandinavia and China. There are no reliable figures for the number of people affected worldwide. The only documented and scientifically substantiated human deaths due to cyanobacteria toxins have been due to exposure during dialysis. People exposed through drinking-water and recreational-water requires intensive hospital care.
- Reducing nutrient build-up (eutrophication) in lakes and storage tanks, especially by better management of wastewater disposal systems and control of pollution by fertilizers (including manure) from agriculture.
-Reducing nutrient build-up (eutrophication) in lakes and storage tanks, especially by better management of wastewater disposal systems and control of pollution by fertilizers (including manure) from agriculture.
-Use of opaque or non-color Water Storage Tank can reduce the growth of blue-green algae.
-Educating staffs in the health and water supply sectors, as well as the public, about the risks of drinking, bathing or water sports in water likely to contain high densities of cyanobacteria.
-Water treatment to remove the organisms and their toxins from drinking-water supplies, where appropriate. Especially by washing and disinfection of water storage facility.
Cholera is a bacteria causal disease. The bacteria infect the small intestine. The main symptom of the disease is diarrhea and vomiting. In Nigeria, cholera is still striving because of poor sanitation and lack of access to safe and clean water. In some cases, industrial mis-care of products is causes cholera in the society. Nigeria had the first series of cholera outbreak between 1970- 1990. Despite this long experience with cholera, an understanding of the epidemiology of the disease is still lacking according to existing reports. Developed countries have an almost zero incidence of cholera because they have robust water treatment plants, food-preparation facilities that usually practice sanitation protocols, and most people have access to toilets and hand-washing facilities. A lot of responsibilities in curbing this epidemic which is killing more of the average citizens of Nigeria lie with the government. However, Nigerians we should contribute their quota to battle and subdue cholera by improving sanitation culture in homes, schools, religious centers, place of work, etc. Most people who contact this disease get it primarily from drinking water or eating food that has been contaminated by the feces (waste product) of an infected person, including one with no apparent symptoms.
Cholera is caused by bacteria called Vibrio Cholerae. The bacteria get into human system through the consumption of contaminated water or food. Children are more susceptible with two-to four years old having the highest rates of infection. In the developed countries (though the disease is insignificant), seafood is the usual cause while in developing countries it is more often drinking water. In rural communities in Nigeria, contaminated source of water supply such as water streams and rivers are the primary source of cholera. In urban area contaminated sources of water supply is often is cause of cholera such as contaminated Well-water, Water Storage Tank, Sachet water (as suggested by Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria) and other sources caused due to poor sanitation. NAFDAC and ATWAP are doing a lot to ensure wholesome consumption of sachet water (popularly known as pure water).
The disease and how it affects people
When cholera causal bacteria is ingested into the system either through food or water, the bacteria try to make its way to the small intestine. If successful, it starts to feed and breed on the walls of the small intestine, it secretes toxins as it feed and breed. This toxin inflames the thick mucus on the wall of the small intestine and cause diarrhea and vomiting. The victim consequently gets ill, weak and dehydrated because of uncontrolled discharge of vital minerals and ions. The victim can become rapidly dehydrated if an appropriate mixture of dilute salt water and sugar is not taken to replace the blood’s water and salts lost in the diarrhea.
In Nigeria, the spread of Cholera is prevalent in areas where there is poor sanitary culture. In other cases, a person’s unhygienic behavior can endanger a whole community. For example, if a carrier defecate in a community river, there is a tendency the community would be affected. Also, leaks from contaminated sewages tank can sip into wells and bore-hole and contaminate the entire water system. This is the reason VTW campaign for frequent washing of hands with soaps in public places like schools, churches, mosques, camps, etc. So, care should be continuously taken to prevent and control cholera.
Scope of the Problem
Cholera is a pressing problem in Nigeria. The disease remains a huge burden to the health system in the country. Apart from the recent outbreak of cholera in Nigeria that killed three in Lagos and some others in Zamfara and Bauchi State, at least 352 people have been killed by this infection in a space of three months and more than 6,400 cases reported.
Cholera is a preventable and can be cured. The prevention of cholera stems from ensuring sanitary behavior among people. Individuals can prevent or reduce the chances of acquiring cholera by thorough hand washing with soap, drinking treated water and eating clean and well prepared food. Most importantly, it is necessary to introduce intervention measures that address the root problems of poor sanitation and unsafe water supplies in order to fully solve the problem of cholera. U.N. figures indicate that half of Nigeria’s 160 million population do not have safe water and a third of the population does not have proper sanitation. So, Nigerians must scale up their sanitation culture. Other treatment options for cholera include rehydration to replace the fluids that are lost through diarrhea to restore electrolyte balance in the human system. Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) can be mixed with warm water to rehydrate the body. Severe dehydration may require the administration of intravenous fluids. Administering antibiotics is not a necessary form of treatment; however, this may reduce the frequency of diarrhea. According to research, zinc mineral may shorten the duration and decrease diarrhea in young children. These treatment measures are majorly first aid. Patients should be taken to the hospital or health center for proper and adequate medical attention. Above all, the World health Organization (WHO) recommends that immunization with currently available cholera vaccines be used in conjunction with the usually recommended control measures in cholera endemic areas as well as areas of risk outbreak. But ultimately, remember proper sanitation and drinking of clean through washing and disinfection of Water Storage Tank and Well water lies in your hand. Be safe!
Typhoid fever is a bacteria disease and is rare in developed countries. However, it remains a serious health threat in the developing world. Typhoid fever spreads through contaminated food and water or through close contact with someone who is infected. Signs and symptoms usually include: high fever, headache, abdominal pain, and either constipation or diarrhea. Typhoid fever is often treated in Nigeria with antibiotics, most people with typhoid fever feel better within few days, although small percentage of them may die of complications. Apart from extreme lethal cases, the disease keep a lot of children out of school and extracts substantial amount of productive time from adults. Typhoid fever is a serious disease but is preventable. Typhoid fever is popular in Nigeria because of its endemic nature in the society. There is a common believe that a fever stricken patient is either suffering from Malaria or Typhoid fever or the both. This notion has propagated self-medication where many abruptly purchase Malaria or Typhoid fever drug when struck by fever. But this notion did promulgate among the population because many medical test focused on a fever stricken patient in many cases result to typhoid fever or malaria. However, the act of self-medication due to perception of typhoid fever is very wrong.
Typhoid fever is caused by bacterium called Salmonella typhi. The bacterium gets into human system through ingestion of contaminated water, food and sometimes by flying insects feeding on feces. Poor hygiene habits and public sanitation conditions facilitates the spread of Typhoid fever. The circle of infection is such that oral transmission comes through food, beverages, fruit, water, etc., handled by an individual who sheds the bacteria through stool or urine. It also comes through hand-to-mouth transmission after using a contaminated toilet and neglecting hand hygiene. In many cases, contaminated Water Storage Tank (sometimes containing dead birds or infected insects) is an abundant source of Typhoid fever. In community setting like villages, schools, hostels, churches, etc., poor hygiene and sewage contamination of water supply are the most important means of transmission.
The disease and how it affects people
Typhoid fever is a serious disease in Nigeria because of its endemic streak in the country. Presentation of the disease varies depending on the stage of the disease and the severity. In the first week of infection, the illness usually starts with fever; the fever rises gradually within the first few days to high grade. The fever may fluctuate and get worse by the day, settling around 39-41 degrees Celsius. There could be rash and skin pigmentation, all usually within two or five days. By the second week, if not treated, the signs and symptoms progress, there could be abdominal distension and pain, constipations or diarrhea; the spleen and the liver could get enlarged, heart beat may drop. There may be associated cough. By the third week if not treated, high grade fever will persist. Individuals now are more toxic with no appetite, weight loss and severe abdominal distension. There could also be diarrhea. At this level, the illness may be complicated with bowel perforation. If by the fourth week the individual is still alive, then there will be high grade fever and mental derangement. So many complications can occur. If the individual survives with poor or no treatment, such individual becomes a source of infection to others. Though some cases of Typhoid fever may not follow the above sequence, it is important to note that untreated Typhoid fever can lead to mental disorder which is called ‘’typhoid psychosis’’ and death.
The spread of Typhoid fever is widespread in Nigeria. No region is favored over other region. The difference in degree of the spread of the disease depends on the sanitary culture of a particular region. However, on general note, Typhoid fever is rampant in the country. About one-third of febrile diseases are related to typhoid fever according to Igbeneghu, Olisekodiaka and Onuegbu (2009).
Scope of the Problem
Typhoid fever is a common disease in Nigeria because of its popularity. The disease is endemic and needs serious approach to quell its scourge. Due to the poor sanitary culture in our society the scope of the disease is enormous affecting both children and adult in a large scale. In the country, one out three cases of fever is medically attributed to Malaria or Typhoid. More so, children are more susceptible to the disease because many of our children lack basic sanitary culture. Therefore, the burden of the disease on Nigeria national GDP is significant which calls for urgent attention.
Typhoid fever can be prevented by adhering to hygienic behaviors. The following behaviors can help to prevent the spread of the disease: regular wash and disinfection of Water Storage Tanks, proper waste disposal, regular hand washing, teaching children of the need to regularly wash their hands especially after using the toilet particularly in public places, avoiding certain street foods, thorough washing of fruits and vegetables, avoiding contaminated sachet waters. In other cases, typhoid fever vaccine has the percentage potency to protect individual from about 60% to 80%. Treatment of typhoid fever varies depending on the condition of the patient. A patient may be given fluids and electrolytes through the vein or may be asked to drink uncontaminated water with electrolyte packets. In some cases, appropriate antibiotics are given to kill the bacteria. There are increasing rates of antibiotic resistance throughout the world, so health care providers have to check current recommendations before choosing an antibiotic. Symptoms usually improve in 2 to 4 weeks with treatment. The outcome is usually good with early treatment, but becomes poor if complications develop. In complicated occasions, surgical operation may be conducted in situation where there is intestinal hemorrhage and intestinal perforation to kidney failure. If mental disorder is observed, the service of neurologist and/or psychiatrist should be engaged.
Dysentery is an inflammatory disorder of the intestine especially the colon that results due to the entry of infectious organisms in the human system. Dysentery can result in severe diarrhea containing blood and mucus in the feces with fever, abdominal pain and rectal tenesmus (a feeling of incomplete defecation). The primary cause of dysentery is consumption of contaminated water and/or food. Diarrhea is widely recognized as a major cause of childhood morbidity and mortality in many developing countries, particularly in sub-Sahara Africa. According to World Health Organization (WHO) report in the African region, diarrheal diseases are still leading causes of mortality and morbidity in children under five years of age. This same report indicates that each child in the said region has five episodes of diarrhea per year and that 800,000 die each year from diarrhea and dehydration. Definitions of dysentery can vary by region and by medical specialty. The U. S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) limits its definition to "diarrhea with visible blood." Others define the term more broadly. These differences in definition must be taken into account when defining mechanisms. For example, using the CDC definition requires that intestinal tissue be so severely damaged that blood vessels have ruptured, allowing visible quantities of blood to be lost with defecation. Other definitions require less specific damage.
Dysentery results from different forms of causal organisms. Fundamentally, viral infections, bacterial infections and parasitic infestations are causal organisms. These pathogens typically after entering orally, reach the large intestine through ingestion of contaminated food or water, oral contact with contaminated objects or hands and so on. Basically, poor sanitary condition is a safe breeding ground for the causal organisms. Each specific pathogen has its own mechanism or pathogenesis, but in general the result is damage to the intestinal lining, leading to the inflammatory immune response. This can cause elevated temperature, painful spasms of the intestinal muscles (cramping), swelling due to water leaking from capillaries of the intestine (edema), and further tissue damage by the body's immune cells and the chemicals, called cytokines, they release to fight the infection. The result can be impaired nutrient absorption, excessive water and mineral loss through the stools due to breakdown of the control mechanisms in the intestinal tissue that normally remove water from the stools and in severe cases the entry of pathogenic organisms into the bloodstream. Some microorganisms – for example, bacteria of the genus Shigella – secrete substances known as cytotoxins, which kill and damage intestinal tissue on contact. Viruses directly attack the intestinal cells, taking over their metabolic machinery to make copies of themselves, which leads to cell death. Dysentery may also be caused by amoebiasis, an infection by the amoeba Entamoeba histolytica and is then known as amoebic dysentery. Entamoeba histolytica is mainly found in tropical countries like Nigeria. When the amoebas inside the bowel of an infected person are ready to leave the body, they group together and form a shell that surrounds and protects them. This group of amoebas is known as a cyst. The cyst passes out of the person's body in the feces and can survive outside the body. If hygiene standards are poor; for example, if the person does not dispose of the feces hygienically, it can contaminate the surroundings, such as nearby food and water. If another person then eats or drinks food or water that has been contaminated with feces containing the cyst, that person will also become infected with the amoeba. Amoebic dysentery is particularly common in parts of the world where human feces are used as fertilizer. After entering the person's body through the mouth, the cyst will travel down into the stomach. The amoebas inside the cyst are protected from the stomach's digestive acid. From the stomach, the cyst will travel to the intestines where it will break open and release the amoebas, causing the infection. The amoebas can burrow into the walls of the intestines and cause small abscesses and ulcers to form. The cycle then begins again.
The disease and how it affects people
Dysentery is estimated to cause up to 19% of the annual 10 million under-five deaths in the developing world. Dysentery, otherwise known as bloody diarrhoea, accounts for about 10% of the diarrheal episodes and 15% of the diarrheal deaths. Shigella species had been described as the most common and most important causes of dysentery while the other pathogens like Entamoeba histolytica, Salmonella species, Campylobacter jejuni, Yersinia enterocolitica and Trichuris trichiura are reportedly uncommon. Amoebiasis is acknowledged to have a worldwide distribution although the exact prevalence of its dysentery form in the tropics and subtropics where it is reportedly endemic is largely unknown. In Nigeria, dysentery is a serious and popular disease because it is prevalent in many forms. It affects both children and adult but more on children. Poor sanitary condition is the primary cause of the disease in Nigeria. Also, consumption of infested foods and fruits and inadequate access to portable water supply is also a major source of the diseases in the country.
Dysentery is rampant in Nigeria due to poor sanitation and inappropriate water supply mechanism in the country. In most urban area of the country where Well water and Bore-hole water are the main source of water supply, any entry of the causal organism can easily spread. Similarly in the rural area contaminated water stream and well can easily get contaminated and lead to the spread of the disease. Manually dug wells which are easily contaminated may be a potentially rich reservoir of the parasite. On the other hand, good hand washing practices which ordinarily should interrupt the transmission of the parasites is expectedly inadequate in situations where water supply takes a lot of manual efforts and the tendency is to use water sparingly. Poor hand washing practices creates a large pool of carriers of the parasite. This results in further transmission by direct and indirect contacts since the infectious dose of the parasite is rather small (<102) compared to 104 for Shigella species and for Salmonella species. Thus, the high prevalence of amoebic dysentery in Nigeria may be attributed principally to the poor water supply in communities.
To reduce the risk of contracting dysentery the following are suggested: • Washing one's hands after using the toilet, after contact with an infected person, and regularly throughout the day; • Washing one's hands before handling, cooking and eating food, handling babies, and feeding young or elderly people; • Keeping contact with someone known to have dysentery to a minimum; • Washing laundry on the hottest setting possible; • Avoiding sharing items such as towels and face cloths. • Building the culture of washing hands immediately the children get back from school and immediately when other family members get home. Dysentery can be initially managed by maintaining fluid intake using oral rehydration therapy. If this treatment cannot be adequately maintained due to vomiting or the profuseness of diarrhea, hospital admission may be required for intravenous fluid replacement. In ideal situations, no antimicrobial therapy should be administered until microbiological microscopy and culture studies have established the specific infection involved. When laboratory services are not available, it may be necessary to administer a combination of drugs, including an amoebicidal drug, to kill the parasite and an antibiotic to treat any associated bacterial infection. If shigella is suspected and it is not too severe, letting it run its course may be reasonable — usually less than a week. If the shigella is severe, antibiotics, such as ciprofloxacin or TMP-SMX may be useful. However, many strains of shigella are becoming resistant to common antibiotics, and effective medications are often in short supply in developing countries. Basically, drug prescription is reserved with professional medical personnel. Proper treatment of the underlying infection of amoebic dysentery is important; insufficiently treated amoebiasis can lie dormant for years and then lead to severe potentially fatal complications. Amoebic dysentery usually calls for a two-pronged attack. Treatment should start with a 10-day course of the antimicrobial drug metronidazole (Flagyl). To finish off the parasite, the doctor can prescribe a course of diloxanide furoate (available only through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), paromomycin (Humatin), or iodoquinol (Yodoxin). With correct treatment, most cases of amoebic and bacterial dysentery subside within ten days, and most individuals will achieve a full recovery within two to four weeks after beginning proper treatment. If the disease is left untreated, the prognosis varies with the immune status of the individual patient and the severity of disease. Extreme dehydration can prolong recovery and significantly raises the risk for serious complications. The seed, leaves, and bark of the kapok tree have been used in traditional medicine by indigenous peoples of the rain-forest regions in the Americas, West-Central Africa, and South East Asia to treat this disease.
Naegleria is an ameba (single-celled living organism) commonly found in warm freshwater (for example, lakes, rivers, and hot springs), contaminated swimming pools and soil. Only one species of Naegleria infects people and is called, Naegleria fowleri. The organism enters human body through the nose and travel to the brain where the damage is done. This frequently occur when people swim in contaminated water or when people are immersed in contaminated tap or other sources of infested water. Naegleria is preventable through effective washing and disinfection of our water systems like swimming pools.
Naegleria is a single-celled amoebic living organism commonly found in contaminated water source especially in fresh water and swimming pool. The amoebic organism enters the human body through the nose and travel up to the nose where it destroys the brain tissue. The organism primarily feeds on bacteria and other microorganisms. Therefore it is found in contaminated ponds, streams, rivers, swimming pool etc. However, due to the salty nature of ocean, Naegleria do not have life in salty environment. In very rare instances, Naegleria infections may also occur when contaminated water from other sources (such as inadequately chlorinated swimming pool water or contaminated tap water) enters the nose, for example when people submerge their heads or cleanse their noses during religious practices, and when people irrigate their sinuses (nose) using contaminated tap water.
The disease and how it affects people
Naegleria is rare in Nigeria because many studies have not been done about the infection. More so, the symptoms of the diseases are not easily pointed toward the causal organism by people who know little or nothing about the infection. Naegleria fowleri causes the disease called primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), a brain infection that leads to the destruction of brain tissue. Initial symptoms of PAM start about 5 days (range 1 to 7 days) after infection. The initial symptoms may include headache, fever, nausea, or vomiting. Later symptoms can include stiff neck, confusion, lack of attention to people and surroundings, loss of balance, seizures, and hallucinations. After the start of symptoms, the disease progresses rapidly and usually causes death within about 5 days (range 1 to 12 days). The infection destroys brain tissue causing brain swelling and death. The fatality rate is over 99%. Only 1 person out of 128 known infected individuals in the United States from 1962 to 2012 has survived the infection. Naegleria fowleri infection cannot be spread from one person to another.
The case of the spread of Naegleria fowleri infection is not common in Nigeria. Unlike other water-borne infections, Naegleria fowleri infection is not common in Nigeria. In the 10 years from 2003 to 2012, 31 infections were reported in the U.S. Of those cases, 28 people were infected by contaminated recreational water, and 3 people were infected after performing nasal irrigation using contaminated tap water. Naegleria fowleri is a heat-loving (thermophile) microbe. It grows best at higher temperatures up to 115°F (46°C) and can survive for short periods at higher temperatures. It is less likely to be found in the water as temperatures decline. The ameba can be found in lake or river sediment at temperatures well below where one would find the ameba in the water. Infections with Naegleria fowleri are rare, they occur mainly during the summer months of May, June, July, August, and September. Naegleria fowleri can grow in pipes, hot water heaters, and water systems. Naegleria fowleri can be found in:
• Bodies of warm freshwater, such as lakes and rivers
• Geothermal (naturally hot) water, such as hot springs
• Warm water discharge from industrial plants
• Geothermal (naturally hot) drinking water sources
• Swimming pools that are poorly maintained, minimally-chlorinated, and/or un-chlorinated water system
• Water heaters. Naegleria fowleri grows best at higher temperatures up to 115°F (46°C) and can survive for short periods at higher temperatures.
Scope of the Problem
Naegleria fowleri infection is not well known in the Nigeria. Therefore, victim of such organism may be looking for solution in the wrong place. Also, people living in villages and rural area could be totally oblivious of the cause of Naegleria symptoms. Importantly, more research should be done in the direction of this infection in Nigeria because of the high fatality rate of the infection. Recreational water users should assume that Naegleria fowleri is present in warm freshwater and swimming pools. Posting signs based on finding Naegleria fowleri in the water is unlikely to be an effective way to prevent infections. This is because:
• Naegleria fowleri occurrence is common, but infections are rare.
• The relationship between finding Naegleria fowleri in the water and the occurrence of infections is unclear.
• The location and number of amebae in the water can vary over time within the same lake or river.
• There are no rapid, standardized testing methods to detect and quantitate Naegleria fowleri in water.
• Posting signs might create a misconception that bodies of water without signs or non-posted areas within a posted water body are Naegleria fowleri-free.
It can take weeks to identify the ameba, but new detection tests are under development. Previous water testing has shown that Naegleria fowleri is commonly found in freshwater venues. Therefore, recreational water users should assume that there is a low level of risk when entering all warm freshwater and swimming pools. Personal actions to reduce the risk of Naegleria fowleri infection should focus on limiting the amount of water going up the nose and lowering the chances that Naegleria fowleri may be in the water. Several drugs are effective against Naegleria fowleri in the laboratory. However, their effectiveness is unclear since almost all infections have been fatal, even when people were treated with similar drug combinations. Behaviors associated with the infection include diving or jumping into the water, submerging the head under water or engaging in other water-related activities that cause water to go up the nose.
United Nations Children's Fund(2009) Available from: https://www.unicef.org/cholera/Annexes/Supporting_Resources/Annex_9/UNICEF-HWTS_Training_Participants_Notes_2009.pdf (Accessed: 25th September 2018)
World Health Organization (2011)”WHO recommendations on evaluation of household water treatment options” Available at: http://www.who.int/household_water/resources/EvaluatingHWT_forGovt.pdf (Accessed on: 23rd September 2018.)
International Journal of Tropical Medicine