The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) monitors waterborne illness cases and outbreaks across the state of Nebraska through the use of a public health surveillance system.
DHHS collaborates with many partners such as hospitals, clinics, laboratories, local, state, and federal partners to detect, investigate, control, and report waterborne disease cases and outbreaks.
Waterborne illness is primarily caused by swallowing contaminated recreational or drinking water. Many waterborne pathogens can also be acquired by consuming contaminated food or beverages, from contact with animals or their environment, through person-to-person spread or breathing in contaminated water droplets.
The incubation period (the time between exposure to the pathogen and onset of symptoms) may begin within hours after being exposed or may begin days later. Common symptoms of waterborne illness are:
Everyone is at risk of getting a waterborne illness. However, some people are at a greater risk of becoming seriously ill or even dying from a waterborne illness:
No. If you are experiencing diarrhea, vomiting, or have a fever, you should not work. You should be symptom free for at least 24 hours before returning to work. Working while sick increases the risk of spreading illness to others.
There are many steps involved in a waterborne outbreak investigation.