How does water exposure increase the risk of diarrhea?

Updated: Jan 31, 2020
  • Author: Stefano Guandalini, MD; Chief Editor: Carmen Cuffari, MD  more...
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Water exposure can contribute to diarrhea.

  • Water is a major reservoir for many organisms that cause diarrhea.

  • Swimming pools have been associated with outbreaks of infection with Shigella species; Aeromonas organisms are associated with exposure to the marine environment.

  • Giardia, Cryptosporidium, and Entamoeba organisms are resistant to water chlorination; therefore, exposure to contaminated water should raise index of suspicion for these parasites.

A history of camping suggests exposure to water sources contaminated with Giardia organisms.

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