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Protozoa, Viruses, Bacteria... Worry about them all?
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Jeremy Platt
(jeremy089786) - F

Locale: Sydney
Protozoa, Viruses, Bacteria... Worry about them all? on 07/03/2011 00:01:11 MDT Print View

Hi Guys,

Now I have a whole bunch of water filters/ purifiers I was wondering about the actual danger posed by each micro-organism.

I would assume that Giardia is the most common Protozoa to worry about, and maybe E.Coli is the worry in Bacteria, but what should I worry about in terms of viruses?

Also, how likely is it for each of these pathogens to be in an industrialised country? e.g. I would be much more worried about cholera in a third world country.

Just considering whether I can ditch protection from one of these (just carry a filter or chemicals).



Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Protozoa, Viruses, Bacteria... Worry about them all? on 07/03/2011 00:13:15 MDT Print View

Jeremy, you may get better advice if you state where it is that you will find your water. Even an industrialized country may have one risk upstream from the city, and a completely different risk downstream. In fact, if you state a particular park or wilderness area, you may get specific recommendations from backpackers who've been there recently.


Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Protozoa, Viruses, Bacteria... Worry about them all? on 07/03/2011 19:37:31 MDT Print View

I don't know what Australia is like, but in the US, you mainly have to worry about diseases that cattle can transmit. Cattle are big stupid animals that stand and poo and drool in the water they drink, which, because they are grazed on public lands, is often the same water YOU want to drink.

Jeremy Platt
(jeremy089786) - F

Locale: Sydney
re: Protozoa, Viruses, Bacteria... Worry about them all? on 07/21/2011 19:40:38 MDT Print View

Thanks for your replies Bob and Piper, interesting especially to hear about cattle, I believe where I hike, most of the problems come from human sewage run off.

Checking out the wikipedia page gives some pretty detailed information on the species which cause water borned diseases, and also some insight about water borne animals which can do some pretty serious harm (see: ).

I don't really hear much about treating for animals, I assume that filters would work as they are so big, chemicals probably would not as many would have protective layers and who knows about UV treatment? Anyone encountered any water borne animal related diseases in their travels?