A comparison of the prevalence of infectious gastrointestinal disease and the quality of individual, surface source water systems in Lincoln County, Oregon Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/x920g110m

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  • This study was a comparison of the prevalence of infectious gastrointestinal disease and the quality of construction of individual, surface source water systems in Lincoln County, Oregon. Two measurement instruments were developed for this study. An objective instrument was developed to determine if the water systems observed in the study were adequately or inadequately constructed. A second objective instrument was developed to determine if individuals interviewed in the study were ill with an infectious gastrointestinal disease. The Delphi Method was used to validate the two instruments, and was based on a concensus of opinions by a panel of experts regarding this subject matter. The sample population was identified through a systematic selection of dwellings using a Lincoln County Department of Engineers road map and a list of random numbers. Individuals were interviewed using the Surface Source Water System Gastrointestinal Disease Evaluation instrument to determine if they had an infectious gastrointestinal disease. The surface source water systems were evaluated using the Individual Surface Source Water System Evaluation Instrument to determine if they were adequately constructed. Subsequently, the individuals were categorized as being ill or not ill. The water systems were all categorized as being adequately or inadequately constructed. The chi square statistic was used to determine if there was a significant difference between the number of people with and without an infectious gastrointestinal disease using inadequately constructed individual, surface source water systems. Also, the chi square statistic was used to determine if there was a significant difference between the number of people with and without an infectious gastrointestinal disease using adequately constructed, individual, surface source water systems. The statistical analysis revealed that there were significantly more well people than ill people using both types of water systems at a significance level of 0.05. Because of a lack of clear differentiation in the data, the common public health concept that quality of construction of individual surface source water systems as a factor in the spread of infectious gastrointestinal diseases cannot be supported or refuted. A major recommendation was to repeat the study by examining the water directly using laboratory techniques. This would positively establish the presence or absence of a disease causing organism in the water system. A literature search by the author revealed that effective measurement instruments for evaluation of relationships of gastrointestinal diseases and well construction quality were not readily available. The instruments developed by the author may require further testing to yield more definitive data.
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