1. What are germs?

2. Getting germs
3. Germ environment
4. Germ travel
5. Symptoms
6. Water's role
7. Water suppliers
8. Rules
9. Conclusion

Diseases & pathogens

Note on E. coli

Diseases and their pathogens

ON THIS PAGE: Waterborne diseases
Diseases transmitted in other ways

The information contained on these pages is intended as a general overview. You should always consult your physician with any specific health-related questions you may have.

Click on the disease name for more info
Diseases Responsible pathogen Route of exposure Mode of transmission
Cholera Vibrio cholerae bacteria gastro-intestinal often waterborne
Botulism Clostridium botulinum bacteria gastro-intestinal food/water borne; can grow in food
Typhoid Salmonella typhi bacteria gastro-intestinal water/food borne
Hepatitis A Hepatitis A virus gastro-intestinal water/food borne
Dysentery Shigella dysenteriae bacteria or Entamoeba histolytica amoeba gastro-intestinal food/water
Cryptosporidiosis Cryptosporidium parvum protozoa gastro-intestinal waterborne; resists chlorine
Polio polioviruses gastro-intestinal exposure to untreated sewage; may also be waterborne
Giardia Giardia lamblia protozoa gastro-intestinal waterborne


Diseases Responsible pathogen Route of exposure Mode of transmission
Pneumonia Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria respiratory coughing or direct contact
(lock jaw)
Clostridium tetani bacteria parenteral cuts or other wounds
Hepatitis B Hepatitis B virus parenteral primarily sexual contact
Lyme disease Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria parenteral deer tick bites
Tuberculosis Mycobacterium tuberculosis and two other bacteria respiratory airborne
(Black Death)
Yersinia pestis bacteria parenteral bites of fleas primarily associated with rodents
AIDS HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) parenteral sexual contact;
blood contact; needles
Measles a paramyxovirus respiratory highly contagious
German measles rubella virus respiratory vaccines work
Malaria Plasmodium protozoa parenteral mosquitos
Mumps a paramyxovirus respiratory vaccines work
E. Coli Eschericia coli 0157: H gastro-intestinal foodborne


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