A Pilot Study Examining for the Presence of Fecal Coliforms and Tropical Diseases in Peru
Goode, Robert E
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Tropical diseases are active in South America and measures need to be taken to control these diseases. Sanitation is a major contributing factor as it serves for an ideal breeding ground for vectors. The EPA regulates water contamination and states that a water source can be recognized as contaminated if it contains anything above zero total coliforms. The severity of the water contamination within Peru can be observed by the presence of thermotolerant coliforms in 48% of all water samples. Studies have also found that on 23% of hands, 16% of utensils, and 4% of meals, E. coli was present. The most frequently contaminated item was kitchen cloths in which 89% had coliforms and 42% with E. coli. In 33% of drinking water, 27% of meals, and 23% kitchen utensils, diarrheagenic E. coli was present. The purpose behind the research being conducted is to assist Peru concerning various factors in order to facilitate the process of working towards the reduction or complete elimination of tropical disease infections such as Dengue, Zika, and Chikungunya. The reason Peru has been identified as being the focal point for the proposed research lies within the factors that surround Peru. Peru is considered a developing country and with that encompasses consequential issues. These issues can manifest in malnutrition, disease ridden environments, debilitating physical repercussions, and many other linked issues.5 Peru also has a substantial market in which producers partake in sugar cane cultivation. "In Peru, Maple Energy anticipates that in 2013, it will harvest 1.075 million gross tons of sugar cane from its plantation for ethanol production." This is significant considering that sugar cane and molasses production attracts mosquitoes and creates a prime nesting ground for mosquitos considering the product as well as the climate which is required to grow these items. The fact that Dengue is so rampant in Peru presents the great possibility that the masking of other infections with similar symptoms such as Chikungunya and Zika is present. Given that Peru is a developing country makes this fact even more feasible considering the minimal access to quality healthcare in many locations, especially rural communities. The location of Peru gives rise to believe that many patients go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed since Peru borders Brazil, in which currently Zika and Chikungunya are currently epidemics sweeping the country. The lack of mandated hygienic practices allows the circulation of many diseases to fester and plague the Peruvian society.