We all need water- it’s not just a matter of comfort, of bathing and toiletries and other hygienics- while all of these things are extremely important, the simple fact remains that without access to water, we can become dehydrated, sick, and perhaps even die. While statistics show that the great majority of people in the world, around eighty five percent, have access to clean water, that leaves fifteen percent, or around nine hundred million people, without access to water purified in any way. These people get their water wherever they can- springs, rivers, canals, lakes, wells, utilizing any access they have to get the water that they need. What this means is that these people are susceptible to any sort of water borne pollutants and diseases.
One of the big topics in the news right now is the Ebola outbreak and the potential that it has to become an epidemic. There are many concerns going around that Ebola will spread outside of the affected countries either through air, through water, or some other medium. Right now, people are very nervous about the potential the disease has to reach epidemic status. However, many of the claims being made right now concerning traits of the disease are less than truthful, and one very important factor can help to make sure that Ebola does not spread further- clean water.
While many of the claims can be dismissed as outright fear mongering, there are very important things to know about the spread of the disease and how it relates to the availability of clean water for everyone. While Ebola is not spread through water, one of the biggest factors in controlling and eliminating the disease centers around hygiene. Clean water is essential to hygiene, allowing people to keep themselves clean in their day to day lives, removing any possible infection through washing. While it is best to avoid coming in contact with the bodily fluids of others, especially strangers or those that you suspect might be infected, the ability to sanitize yourself goes a long way towards fighting off Ebola. Additionally, other factors associated with a modern water delivery system can help to prevent the spread of the disease, such as a functional waste disposal system. Any sort of standing sewage or waste is a breeding ground for disease and obviously unhygienic- and a very possible source of infection of Ebola. While this problem probably does not concern you if you have a computer and are able to read this online, we can’t forget those dealing with these hardships and must continue to push to expand clean water to the entire world.