A Public Health Anniversary: US Drinking Water Chlorination
Water Quality & Health Council

Monday, September 26, 2016, marks the 108th anniversary of the first continuous use of chlorine to disinfect a public drinking water supply in the US.  Do you know which American city debuted chlorinated drinking water in the fall of 1908?  Can you imagine the relief of local public health officials when typhoid fever death rates plummeted?  Grab a refreshing glass of H2O and read the full story here!

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Are You Ready for an Emergency?
Ralph Morris, MD, MPH

Earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, wildfires, pandemics1 , disease outbreaks, terrorist attacks… We may not like to think about the disasters that can befall us, but these potential events warrant our preparedness. September is National Preparedness Month, and a new infographic—The Power of Preparedness—from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that over 60 percent of Americans do not have an emergency plan that they have discussed with their household. Are you in that camp? According to the 2014 Federal Emergency Management Agency report, “Preparedness in America”, the percentage of people taking recommended preparedness actions in 2011 remains largely unchanged since 2007.

Taking the First Steps

Where you live determines the type of emergency you may be most at risk of experiencing. If you live in a coastal area, your greatest risk could be hurricanes. Flooding may be a serious risk if you live … READ MORE >>

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Why Wastewater Treatment Matters: An Example from Haiti
Water Quality & Health Council

Haiti’s Artibonite River

Haiti’s Artibonite River
Photo courtesy of E. Wesley Laine

One of the most important functions of water infrastructure is to prevent the contamination of water that may be used for drinking or recreation.  Limiting human exposure to wastewater helps protect human health by shielding people from the pathogens shed in feces.  Whereas diseases such as cholera and typhoid fever—transmitted through contaminated drinking water and food—are no longer serious threats in the developed world thanks to modern drinking water and wastewater treatment methods, we need only look to Haiti to understand the repercussions of poor or absent wastewater treatment.  In Haiti, the majority of people have no adequate means of human waste or wastewater disposal.  The result is that any gastrointestinal disease is rapidly disseminated throughout the country until a sufficient percentage of the population has developed immunity.

An Earthquake Response Turns Deadly

On January 12, 2010, a magnitude 7 earthquake … READ MORE >>

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Water Quality & Health Council Member Joan B. Rose, PhD, Receives Stockholm Water Prize
Chris Wiant, MPH, PhD

Video courtesy Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI)
  Some 3,000 scientists, government officials and policy experts representing 120 countries gathered in Stockholm this week for the 26th annual World Water Week conference. Organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute, World Water Week is “the annual focal point for the globes’ water issues,” according to the Institute's website.  A highlight of the week was the presentation by H.M. Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden, of the Stockholm Water Prize to Water Quality & Health Council member, Professor Joan B. Rose. READ MORE >> READ MORE >>

Crypto Outbreaks in Aquatic Facilities
Chris Wiant, MPH, PhD

Left to right: Cryptosporidium in the oocyst stage; emerging from its resistant shell; fully emerged
Photo courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

 

Over 250 people in central Ohio and over 100 in Arizona have been sickened in summer outbreaks of cryptosporidiosis, a diarrheal illness caused by the microscopic parasite Cryptosporidium, or “Crypto.”   These parasites are found throughout the US and abroad, and settle in the intestines of infected humans and animals, making Crypto one of the most well-known zoonotic diseases.  According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), millions can be released in the feces of an infected person.  Only 10 to 30 are needed, however, to cause infection in a healthy person, according to Yoder and Beach (2010).1

Crypto spreads in aquatic facilities when people inadvertently swallow water contaminated with the feces of infected individuals. Understanding Crypto and how to … READ MORE >>

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