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World Health Organization Publication : Year 2003 ; Issue 9241545801 Chapter 11: Chapter 11 ; Dangerous Aquatic Organisms

By World Health Organization

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Book Id: WPLBN0000173271
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 0.2 MB
Reproduction Date: 2005
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Title: World Health Organization Publication : Year 2003 ; Issue 9241545801 Chapter 11: Chapter 11 ; Dangerous Aquatic Organisms  
Author: World Health Organization
Language: English
Subject: Health., Public health, Wellness programs
Collections: Medical Library Collection, World Health Collection
Publication Date:
Publisher: World Health Organization


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Organization, W. H. (n.d.). World Health Organization Publication : Year 2003 ; Issue 9241545801 Chapter 11. Retrieved from

Medical Reference Publication

Dangerous aquatic organisms may be encountered during recreational use of freshwater and coastal environments (Halstead, 1988; Williamson et al., 1996). Such organisms vary widely and are generally of local or regional importance. The likelihood and nature of human exposure often depend significantly on the type of recreational activity concerned. Because of the wide variety of organisms that may be encountered, this chapter summarizes only those known to have caused significant ill-health, injury or death to recreational water users. These include both non-venomous organisms (disease vectors, “in-water” hazardous organisms and “water’s-edge” hazardous organisms) and venomous vertebrates and invertebrates (see Table 11.1). Space prohibits full coverage of their geographic distribution, identification, management or first aid treatment. Readers are advised to turn to specialized texts for such information, such as the WHO publication International Travel and Health, which is updated annually and is available on the internet ( Rats, which may spread illnesses such as leptospirosis, are not included but are covered in chapter 5. Two types of risks can be distinguished in relation to dangerous aquatic species. The first type of risk is infectious disease transmitted by species with life cycles that are linked to the aquatic environment. The second type is injury or intoxication (e.g., ciguatera, histamine poisoning, shellfish and so on) resulting from direct encounters with large animals or venomous species. Injuries from encounters with dangerous aquatic organisms are generally sustained in one of the following ways:

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