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Microbial risk assessment for drinking water

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Infectious microbes can be transmitted through the drinking water supply. Recent research indicates that infection transmission dynamics influence the public health benefit of water treatment interventions, although some risk assessments currently in use do not fully account for those dynamics. This chapter models the public health benefit of two interventions: improvements to centralized water treatment facilities, and localized point-of-use treatments in the homes of particularly susceptible individuals. A sensitivity analysis indicates that the best option is not as obvious as an analysis that ignores infection dynamics suggests. Deterministic and stochastic dynamical systems models prove to be useful tools for assessing the dynamics of risk exposure.

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