Twenty years of waterborne and related disease reports in Florida, USA

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Florida represents a unique challenge for preventing and responding to infectious disease associated with water. This study cataloged the prevalence of reportable waterborne and water-related disease within Florida residents over the last twenty years and identified relationships between confirmed cases by location and additional risk factors. Data was collected through FLHealthCHARTS for confirmed cases between January 1, 1999 and December 31, 2019. Case records were compiled and analyzed by year, county, pathogen name and disease category, patient age, and where the infection was acquired. During this time, 218,707 cases of water-related disease were recorded with 214,745 due to waterborne disease, 3255 cases of water-related vector-borne disease, and 707 cases caused by a water-based toxin. Children aged 0–4 and the elderly demonstrated a higher proportion of waterborne disease while 45–49 year olds had increased rates of water-based toxins and water-related vector-borne disease. Most cases were reported in the southeast region. Across the state, opportunities for water contact have led to high rates of water-related infectious disease. Public health initiatives and response efforts should target the pathogens of greatest impact for each region, largely zoonotic waterborne diseases, using a One Health approach.

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