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Waterborne Diseases

Waterborne diseases are those in which the consumption of or exposure to water and/or water systems lead to illness. Common waterborne diseases include but are not limited to, giardiasis, cryptosporidiosis, vibriosis, shigellosis, and legionellosis. Gastrointestinal, respiratory, and wound infections are typical signs and symptoms of these diseases. These diseases implicate compromised water sanitation and safety that have the potential to affect a large number of people. ADPH is committed to keeping you informed of potential risks that lead to waterborne illnesses; investigating transmission of pathogens that may result in such illnesses; and implementing strategies that will reduce the spread of further sickness.

Spotlight: Beach Fun and Safety

Planning a trip to one of Alabama's coastal beaches? Be sure to visit the Coastal Alabama Beach Monitoring Program page for details on routine sample testing results that assess water quality. Additionally, the beach flag warning system and weather forecast of coastal areas are useful tools to keep swimmers educated in preparation for beach trips.

Vibriosis Surveillance in Alabama

Vibriosis is a reportable condition in Alabama. Necrotizing fasciitis (NF), a severe infection commonly referred to in media reports as ‘flesh-eating bacteria’, is not reportable. NF can result from different bacterial pathogens, including Vibrio and Vancomycin-Intermediate/Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (VISA/VRSA). During routine disease surveillance, complications that result from Vibrio infection may occur after patient interviews, and therefore may not be reported. Specimen sites provide insight into the type of infections cases may have experienced. These are illustrated in the table below.


What's New!

  • Free training is available for Legionnaires' disease prevention! CDC and partners developed this training for a variety of professionals involved in water management programs. CEUs are available from the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA).



For Providers

For Operators of Aquatic Venues

Water Safety During an Emergency


Page last updated: May 4, 2023