The Distribution of Fecal Contamination in an Urbanized Tropical Lake and Incidence of Acute Diarrheal Disease

Abdulaziz, A, Sathyendranath, S, Vijayakumar, SK, Menon, N, George, G, Kulk, G, Raj, D, Krishna, K, Rajamohananpillai, R, Tharakan, B, Jasmin, C, Vengalil, J and Platt, T 2023 The Distribution of Fecal Contamination in an Urbanized Tropical Lake and Incidence of Acute Diarrheal Disease. ACS ES&T Water.

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Aquatic ecosystems of tropical countries are vulnerable to fecal contamination that could cause spikes in the incidences of acute diarrheal disease (ADD) and challenge public health management systems. Vembanad lake, situated along the southwest coast of India, was monitored for one year (2018−2019). Escherichia coli, an indicator of fecal contamination, was prevalent in the lake throughout the year. Multiple antibiotic resistance among more than 50% of the E. coli isolates adds urgency to the need to control this contamination. The high abundance of E. coli and incidence of ADD were recorded during the early phase of the southwest monsoon (June−July), prior to the once-in-a-century floods that affected the region in the later phase (August). The extent of inundation in the low-lying areas peaked in August, but E. coli in the water peaked in July, suggesting that contamination occurred even prior to extreme flooding. During the COVID-19-related lockdown in March−May 2021, fecal contamination in the lake and incidence of ADD reached minimum values. These results indicate the need for improving sewage treatment facilities and city planning in flood-prone areas to avoid the mixing of septic sewage with natural waters during extreme climate events or even during the normal monsoon.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Additional Keywords: Fecal contamination Escherichia coli COVID-19 remote sensing flood antimicrobial resistance
Divisions: Plymouth Marine Laboratory > National Capability categories > National Centre for Earth Observation
Plymouth Marine Laboratory > Science Areas > Earth Observation Science and Applications
Depositing User: S Hawkins
Date made live: 31 May 2023 09:35
Last Modified: 31 May 2023 09:35

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