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How to prevent diseases after flood water recedes

BY: Deena David | Category: Nature | Post Date: 2010-01-29

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   Deena David
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The period during the flood is what most people are scared about. It is true that the period during which the floods are there can be very tough for those affected, but it should be also understood that the period after the floods can also be equally devastating with the loss of life due to the occurrence of various diseases. Here a few methods of reducing the infections and diseases are listed.

The vaccination against typhoid and hepatitis A is very important for the prevention of these diseases on epidemic scales. The use of lime chlorine disinfections of the wells, houses and cellars are very important as these will be damp and could be a source of infection. The water consumption should be done only after 30 minutes after boiling.

Immediate steps to be taken to prevent diseases after floods recede
What is the worst post-flood disease?

Leptospirosis is a disease caused by groups of microorganisms that grow in wet soil and hot water. They resist at low temperature, and they can be alive on ice for up to one year. Thus, in closed water basins it could resist up to 10-20 days, in urine for a few weeks and in food for a few days. Leptospires, which cause the disease cannot survive dryness and high temperatures and are sensitive to the action of sunlight.

Disinfectants (chloramines, chloride of lime and phenol) easily destroy leptospires, which are also sensitive to antibiotics. Natural outbreaks are particularly common in certain territories with lower relief (river valleys, lakes). Animal sources are mainly sheep and pigs but, first of all, leptospires circulation is mainly by rats that may abound after a flood.

Disease transmission from animals to man is easy and animal care to prevent this is important. There should be no contact with animal urine, or food that could have been in contact with and contaminated by rodents. Symptoms of this condition include chills, fever, general weakness, insomnia, nausea, vomiting and back pain. All patients should be hospitalized if affected by leptospirosis.

In localities affected by floods, the health authorities shall carry out the following to prevent and also control diseases:

Epidemiological surveillance of the population to make sure the need of the people af the area affected by the floods.
Immediate reporting of non-specific diseases such as diarrhea and related diseases, cholera, typhoid, tetanus, acute viral A hepatitis, dysentery, Air-borne diseases (tuberculosis, measles, rubella, mumps, chickenpox, etc.). This will help to start immediate interventions to prevent loss of life.
Vaccination against A hepatitis for children aged 1-14 years and vaccines against tetanus for adults aged over 24 years.
Monitoring the quality of drinking water and disinfections are as important as the analysis of water samples collected.
Providing medical care in areas affected on a large scale.

Informing the general public through face to face discussions and by distributing leaflets, on the measures to be taken to prevent disease including things like consumption of bottled water or boiled and cooled, keeping individual hygiene, storage and consumption of food, avoiding self-medication when symptoms of diarrhea disease or other diseases occur are very important.

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