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Avoiding ills, hazards from floodwater

There’s no room for complacency even in the aftermath of a storm.

Floods that have yet to subside, the mud and debris that need to be cleaned up, the dangling electrical wires that require professional repairs—all these continue to pose danger to you and your loved ones. If you’re not careful, you might risk getting wound infections, skin rashes, infectious diseases, among others.

So if you find yourself needing to start the backbreaking task of cleaning up your homes after the storm, at least be mindful of these hazards. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a national public health institute in the United States, offers a few tips.

Avoid wading through a flood as it can contain human and livestock waste, hazardous wastes and objects that may injure you.—JAM STA ROSA

Stay out of floodwater

Avoid wading through a flood as much as possible as it can contain human and livestock waste, household, medical and industrial hazardous waste, physical objects that can injure you, or worse, wild or stray animals such as rodents. Exposure to contaminated floodwater can cause wound infections, skin rash, gastrointestinal illness, tetanus or even leptospirosis, CDC said.

If it cannot be helped, CDC suggests that after you come in contact with floodwater, immediately wash with soap and clean water or, if unavailable, use alcohol-based wipes or sanitizer. Also, wash clothes contaminated with flood in hot water and detergent thoroughly.

Immediately wash with soap and clean water after coming in contact with floodwater

Avoid contamination

Be careful in handling food items. Throw out food that came in contact with floodwater, which can cause diarrheal disease such as E. coli or Salmonella infection, according to CDC. Also make sure to always wash your hands especially before meals.

Wear rubber boots when walking through floodwater

Use rubber boots, gloves, goggles

Prevent injuries by using rubber boots, rubber gloves and goggles as floodwater may contain sharp objects, such as glass or metal fragments. Minor injuries like a small wound should be cleaned and disinfected immediately and thoroughly.

Wash clothes contaminated with flood thoroughly.

Avoid electrical hazards

CDC urges homeowners to shut off their main power switch and turn off gas or propane tanks if you still have floodwater inside your house to prevent fire or electrocution. Never touch a fallen power line nor drive through standing water with downed power lines.



It pays, of course, to be extra careful. If you think you’ve ingested something that was contaminated by flood water, if those rashes have worsened, or if you think your wound came in contact with a rusty object floating in floodwater, then you better check with your doctor. Thankfully, you can readily consult with your doctor without having to leave the comfort and safety of your home. Just download Medicard Philippines’ MACE App, an innovative platform that allows you to request for consultations, lab examinations and diagnostics, hassle free. MACE is available for download on Google Play Store or App Store.

Additional photos from Valeria Boltneva, Susanne Jutzeler and cottonbro from Pexels.

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Article and Photo originally posted by Inquirer last November 14, 2020 3:45am and written by Amy R. Remo.