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Water-borne diseases have been recognized as a major threat to sustainable human development.

Contaminated water and poor sanitation are linked to the transmission of water-borne diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea, dysentery, hepatitis A, typhoid and polio.

The City of Ekurhuleni (CoE), therefore, continues to do all necessary to deliver reliable good quality water as well as ensuring that sanitation services rendered are of good quality. The communities and businesses also have a role to play to ensure that these services are preserved, and all debris is kept away from the water and sanitation systems.  Such efforts help decrease water contamination.

If you notice any of the symptoms listed here-under, please immediately seek help at your nearest clinic or family doctor and have the situation under control. Remember that under Lockdown Level 4 and the successive waves of the pandemic, the situation at the hospitals is dire.  Act immediately and do everything possible to have the symptoms contained for your loved ones.

The following are the symptoms of these water-borne diseases.

Symptoms of cholera


Cholera and diarrhoea are very similar, and only health professionals can tell which one between the two a patient is suffering from.

According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1 in 10 people with cholera may experience severe symptoms. In the early stages these symptoms will include:

  • profuse watery diarrhoea
  • vomiting
  • thirst
  • leg cramps
  • restlessness or irritability

People with severe cholera can develop severe dehydration, which can lead to kidney failure. If left untreated, severe dehydration can lead to shock, coma, and death within hours.

Symptoms of Dysentery


Dysentery is an intestinal inflammation, primarily of the colon. It can lead to mild or severe stomach cramps and severe diarrhoea with mucus or blood in the faeces.

Symptoms of hepatitis A

The symptoms may be mild to severe and include:

  • fever
  • malaise
  • loss of appetite
  • diarrhoea
  • nausea
  • abdominal discomfort
  • dark-coloured urine
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes).

Not everyone who is infected will have all of the symptoms.

Symptoms of typhoid fever


  • body temperature of about 39–40°c
  • stomach pains
  • weakness
  • headache
  • diarrhoea or constipation
  • cough
  • loss of appetite

Symptoms of polio


Early symptoms of polio are like those of influenza (flu) and may last about two to 10 days:

Diarrhoea is the common symptoms in almost all these diseases. In such cases it is imperative to keep the loved ones hydrated with water, tea or juice even before going to the clinic or consulting the Doctor.