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Emerging Waterborne Pathogens

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Abstract:In 1971, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) entered into a long term agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to gather data on the occurrence of waterborne illness. It is difficult however to know what effects increases in surveillance have had on the perceived incidence of disease. For example, in Figure 1, the number of outbreaks of waterborne disease increased sharply in the 1970's, which coincides with the undertaking of this surveillance program. The incidence of disease follows a similar pattern (Figure 2) with the exception of the tremendous spike cases in the 1990's due to the Milwaukee outbreak. (Moore AC, 1993, Kramer, et al. 1996, Levy, et al. 1998, and Barwick, et al. 2000).

Contaminated drinking water is no longer a significant cause of death in the United States. Modern drinking water treatment systems have reduced or eliminated the large outbreaks of cholera and typhoid fever, that were major causes of mortality in the early settlement of the United States. These treatments are effective against a variety of diseases beyond the classical agents of drinking water mortality. However, waterborne diseases still cause a large number of cases of illness, and several deaths each year. Because of the widespread use of drinking water, there is potential for disastrously large outbreaks of disease if the water becomes contaminated with a suitable disease agent. As new disease agents are uncovered, treatment processes are optimized to control these agents. The appearance of new agents of waterborne disease is considered to be disease emergence.
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Citation:Lindquist, H. A. Emerging Waterborne Pathogens. Presented at 52nd Annual KU Environmental Engineering Confernece, Lawrence, KS, February 6, 2002.
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Contact: Mary P. O'Bryant - (919)-541-4871 or obriant.mary@epa.gov
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Division: Microbiological & Chemical Exposure Assessment Division
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Branch: Biohazard Assessment Research Branch
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Product Type: Sympos/Conf
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Presented: 02/06/2002
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Related Entries:
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Bullet Item Detecting Ccl-Related, Emerging and Regulated Waterborne Human Protozoa for Exposure Assessment
spacer Relationship Reason:   A Project of the Product
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Last Updated on Monday, October 22, 2007
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