Drinking Water Community, Medical Center Diagnose and Treat Waterborne Illness

The American Water Works Association (AWWA), the authoritative resource on safe drinking water, today announced the launch of a unique online resource to provide medical professionals with critical information that will assist physicians in better diagnosing symptoms of waterborne diseases in patients.

The online Physicians' Reference Guide, 'Recognizing Waterborne Disease and the Health Effects of Water Pollution' ( http://www.waterhealthconnection.aomc.org/ ), provides a repository of educational materials and preparedness resources to help physicians recognize and treat waterborne disease and the health effects of acute and chronic exposure to water pollution.

Consumers are frequently unaware of the potential health risks associated with exposure to waterborne contaminants and often consult practicing physicians who are unfamiliar with water pollution issues and their subsequent impact on human health. AWWA collaborated with Arnot Ogden Medical Center in Elmira, N.Y., to educate and inform the medical community and the public about symptoms, effects, and treatment of waterborne disease.

"Primary care physicians must be especially vigilant to protect the public from unforeseen illness trends due to waterborne diseases caused by natural and manmade contaminants," said Jack Hoffbuhr, AWWA executive director. "This online reference guide will provide those practicing physicians with the tools to obtain the information necessary to provide the recommended critical care."

Benefits of the online Physicians Reference Guide to health care providers include, but are not limited to:

-- Ability to diagnose and treat waterborne disease with a higher level of


-- Access to educational tools providing treatment and prevention options

-- Easy-to-access information in a user-friendly format

-- Seamless, integrated material in a centralized location

"The online reference guide addresses the critical need of treating physicians in the U.S. as they attempt to diagnose and treat waterborne diseases," said Dr. Patricia L. Meinhardt, executive medical director of the Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the Arnot Ogden Medical Center (AOMC).

Funding for the reference guide was provided primarily by the American Water Works Association (AWWA), with additional funding by the AOMC.


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