rush to protect homes and businesses from flood waters, itís
important to also watch out for health risks. Flood waters can
contain raw sewage and hazardous chemicals and lead to
intestinal illness if ingested.
children and pets away from flood water inside the home. Wear
rubber boots, gloves and goggles when cleaning up flooded
the cleanup, wash hands with soap and warm water that has been
previously boiled. Clothes should be washed in hot water and
detergent, separately from clothes that arenít contaminated.
Use a laundromat if the waste water system in the area has
wounds and rashes can lead to infections if exposed to flood
waters. Use waterproof bandages and thoroughly wash any areas
that were exposed to flood waters. Health officials
recommend updated vaccinations for tetanus and diphtheria for
anyone exposed to raw sewage.
sewage in flood waters can carry bacteria, viruses and
parasites. Those that can cause intestinal illness or
gastroenteritis include strains of E. coli, salmonella,
shigella and enterovirus. The main symptom of these illnesses
is diarrhea, and those at higher risk of developing severe
disease are the youngest and oldest in the community and
people with compromised immune systems.
the waters recede, mold can become another health concern.
Remove and throw away any drywall or insulation that has been
touched by flood waters or sewage. Mattresses, carpets, carpet
pads, upholstered furniture, stuffed animals, pillows, books,
paper products and anything else that canít be washed and
disinfected should be tossed out if they get wet.
surfaces including flooring and countertops should be
thoroughly cleaned with hot water and detergent. All toys
should be disinfected with a bleach solution.