We all have to drink to keep our bodies hydrated and most of us know that means you avoid bad water. Our tap water is treated to kill all of the various diseases that lurk in dirty water. Water Borne Diseases killed more men during the American Civil War than died from combat. Getting access to clean water is critical to your survival.
But now what happens, for one of a variety of reasons, someone in your group drinks bad water and becomes sick. Now you do not have access to modern medicine or antibiotics. You are strictly on your own.
Now I want you to understand that I am not a Doctor and have no special medical training. These ideas are only for situations in which modern medicine is not available. Under normal circumstances, I strongly recommend you get medical help if at all possible.
How do you treat water borne diseases?
First, the best method is prevention, but we have already lost that one. Now most of the common water borne diseases have fairly similar symptoms. Diarrhea, abdominal cramps, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, gas, malaise, fever and weight loss are the most common.
If you suspect that you are dealing with water borne diseases eliminate the source of the water and make sure the patient only gets good water.
Since your expertise is limited and you probably can’t tell one infection from another, you will just have to treat the symptoms as best you can.
Most people if they are healthy adults will survive without any other treatment than keeping them well hydrated. Make sure they are getting enough liquid to replace what they are losing.
If they are losing a lot of water you can give them a rehydration drink to replace some of the electrolytes they are losing.
While a prisoner of the North Koreans during the Korean war, Dr Lam treated dysentery with charcoal. He would take clean-burned wood and scrape of the charcoal and feed the patient a handful. He also used tea, the tannic acid helped stop the diarrhea.
Don’t forget to keep the patient feed, watered down porridges are a good food to start them on.
If at all possible, get them medical help.