Water Sanitation Health

Water recreation and disease. Plausibility of associated infections: Acute effects, sequelae and mortality

Kathy Pond

Worldwide, the popularity of recreational activities which involve contact with water is growing. Ease of travel and change in human behaviour has altered the use of water for recreational purposes. Recreational exposures to pathogens may result in disease.

Recreational users of water may be at risk of serious and potentially fatal diseases. In addition to disease with severe primary disease outcomes (e.g., typhoid, leptospirosis), a number of infections may lead to sequelae with serious consequences. Susceptible populations including people with reduced immune function or lack of immunity to locally endemic diseases (e.g., tourists), are at higher risk of contracting severe illnesses.

Water Recreation and Disease: Plausibility of Associated Infections: Acute Effects, Sequelae and Mortality provides a comprehensive review and analysis of potential disease outcomes associated with recreational water activities, including:

  • Factors that lead to disease severity;
  • Evidence for the frequency and severity of different types of sequelae;
  • Information on susceptible subpopulations;
  • A modified classification system for establishing the credibility of diseases associated with recreational water exposures;
  • An objective disease severity rating system that facilitates the prioritization of health protection measures by public health professionals; and
  • Pathogen by pathogen summaries of health aspects and the evidence for association with recreational water exposures.

This book will be useful to all those concerned with recreational water quality, including environmental and public health professionals, local authorities, and user groups.

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Publishing and ordering information

© World Health Organization 2005
ISBN 92 4 156305 2 Published on behalf of the World Health Organization by IWA Publishing
Order online or e-mail to: bookorders@who.int