Infectious Diseases - An aftermath of Floods
An unfortunate reality as an aftermath of floods is infectious diseases caused by stagnant water, lack of clean water and food, improper drainage and devastation all around.
Common infections include
- Gastrointestinal infections - symptoms are tummy discomfort, nausea, vomiting, loose stools with or without fever
- Respiratory Infections - symptoms are cough, sore throat, fever
- Fungal skin infections of the feet
- Leptospirosis (rat fever) that causes fever, headache and body pain
How does one prevent these infections?
- Avoid walking through flood water, especially if you have cuts or abrasions in your legs. Wash your legs with warm water and soap immediately after walking through the inundation.
- Keeping hands clean prevents the majority of infections. Always wash your hands before preparing food or eating food. Use an alcohol based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap is unavailable.
- Water Hygiene - Boiled water or packaged bottle water is safe for consumption. If both are unavailable, use chlorine water to disinfect water
- Food Hygiene
- Eat thoroughly cooked, hot and steaming foods. Avoid raw vegetables and fruits that cannot be peeled and raw seafood too.
- Boil unpasteurized milk before drinking it
- Avoid ice unless it has been made from bottled or boiled water
- Use insect repellent creams. Vaccines are a good idea for protection from tetanus, Typhoid, Hepatitis A & Influenza, but they are not a substitute as usually they take 10 - 14 days to act.
Post flood anxiety, fear and depression are also common ailments. But it is important for us to identify the people who are traumatized and exhibit empathy and sensitivity to them.