Are you water tight? Take the quiz

Take a quiz to find out whether you're prepped to battle water-bone diseases that are on the rise this summer

Doctors say it, you know it, but you'll still do it, won't you? Drink a glass of juice and enjoy a plate of paanipuri off the street, that is. Though water remains a precious commodity in drought-hit Maharashtra, water-borne illnesses are extremely common in the state.

Dr Ambarish Shahade, former president of Indian Medical Association, says ailments like jaundice, diarrhoea, dysentery, and Hepatitis A/E are on the rise despite the ongoing drought. "In urban areas, one of the main causes for these illnesses is the accidental contact of sewage pipes with the drinking water pipelines, as they're usually located close to one another." May to September is when cases peak.

Dr D B Kadam, head of the medicine department, Sassoon General Hospital, Pune says, "Our hospital sees the maximum cases of water-borne illnesses in summer. During the monsoon, acid rain mixes with groundwater, leading to infections,too." So, how much do you know about waterborne diseases? Take this quiz to figure.

1. While diarrhoea can usually be cured with over-the-counter pills, how long should you wait before consulting a doctor?
A) Two days
B) 24 hours
C) Three weeks
D) You don't need to consult a doctor for diarrhoea

2. The bacteria which causes cholera vibrio cholerae is commonly found in:
A) Surface or well water
B) Seafood
C) Raw fruits, vegetables and grains
D) All of the above

3. The malarial parasite migrates to a certain body organ, where it lies dormant for as long as a year. Which organ is this?
A) Lungs
B) Stomach
C) Liver
D) Kidney

4. Besides high fever, weakness, dry cough, loss of appetite, abdominal pain and diarrhoea or constipation, skin rash is also a symptom of typhoid.
A) True
B) False

5. Boiling remains the best way to ensure that the water you are drinking is safe. But how long should you keep it on the gas?
A) 10 minutes
B) 20 minutes
C) 3 minutes
D) 1 minute

1B If the symptoms of diarrhoea abdominal bloating or cramps, thin or loose stools, sense of urgency in bowel movement and nausea and vomiting and the accompanied fever last for more than 24 hours, it's best to consult a doctor. Especially, if the vomiting prevents you from drinking liquids to replace lost fluids.

2D The cholera bacteria can lie dormant in water for long periods and contaminated wells are sources of large-scale outbreaks. Eating raw or under cooked seafood can also put you at risk. Raw fruits and vegetables are also a source of cholera infection. Uncomposted manure or irrigation water containing raw sewage can contaminate produce. In regions where cholera is widespread, grains such as rice and millet that are contaminated after cooking and allowed to remain at room temperature for several hours become a medium for growth of cholera bacteria.

3C The malaria parasites migrate to the liver, multiply inside liver cells, and spread into the bloodstream. They lie dormant between eight days to several months, depending on the species. They multiply inside red blood cells. Clinical symptoms occur when the red blood cells break up. If this happens in large numbers, the patient experiences characteristic intermittent fevers. The released parasites invade other blood cells. Most people begin feeling sick 10 days to four weeks after being infected.

4A The symptom most commonly used to diagnose typhoid fever is the rash rose spots that accompany the disease. They are specific to typhoid. They are generally less than one-fourth of an inch in diameter and flat. They are seen predominantly on the chest and abdominal region. However, not all cases of typhoid show this symptom.

5D Once the water has reached boiling point, keep it on for one minute and then allow it to cool to room temperature. Boiling water as recommended will kill bacterial, parasitic, and viral causes of diarrhoea.

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