Vet Voices

Flooding poses multiple health risks


Flood water, mud, and debris are a nuisance, but they also can be a significant health hazard.

There are three health issues to keep in mind when dealing with flood water or standing water: infectious diseases, chemical exposure, and the dangers posed by debris. 

The most common infectious diseases associated with flooding are gastrointestinal or GI illnesses that can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

In order to prevent those issues, you need to keep the water out of your mouth. 

Make sure you are wearing gloves, washing your hands, and disinfecting any objects that may have been contaminated by flood water or mud. 

If you have a cut or scrape that is exposed to flood water, it could get infected if not immediately cleaned.

“If you’re in flood waters and you get an abrasion, it must be cleaned immediately and closely followed because of the risk of infection. If your tetanus hasn’t been boosted in eight to ten years, you need a tetanus shot. Call your doctor,” said Medical Director, Corporate Health at Wheeling Hospital Clark Milton. 

If you live in an area where the water could have been contaminated by chemicals, make sure to wear protective equipment. 

Remember that there could be debris in the water, anything from broken glass to rusty nails. 

If you cannot see through the water, you could potentially step on the debris and cut yourself which poses the risk of infection. 

If you experience any symptoms of infection or illness, visit your doctor as soon as possible. 

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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