Ministry of Health warns of diseases after floods

 During floods and after the water recedes, the population must be alert to the risk of contamination and spread of diseases. Most of them occur due to the consumption of contaminated water or its contact with the skin. The accumulation of garbage favors the proliferation of animals and insects that cause diseases, such as rats, cockroaches and mosquitoes. To avoid the occurrence of outbreaks during this period, the Ministry of Health recommends some basic care for the population living in areas affected by floods.

It is recommended to always consume drinking water. If this is not possible in case of shortages, the municipal and state departments distribute sodium hypochlorite (2.5%) free of charge, the proportion for human consumption being two drops per liter of water. Another option is to filter and boil the water for three minutes before drinking. “It is also advisable to wear boots and gloves and also avoid contact with flood water”, explains the coordinator of the Environmental Health Surveillance of Risks Associated with Disasters (Disaster Watch) of the Ministry of Health, Eliane Lima e Silva

According to her, these small actions can prevent several diseases and make a big difference. “It is important not to consume foods with an unusual smell, color or appearance (humid, moldy or withered). Contaminated food can cause diarrhea, vomiting, fever and, in more serious cases, even lead to death”, observes the coordinator. The main diseases that can occur in these situations are leptospirosis,  hepatitis A , diarrheal and respiratory diseases,  dengue fever , typhoid fever and  cholera .

ACTIONS  – Together with the institutions responsible for sanitation in the country, the Ministry of Health is making mobile laboratories available for the analysis of water quality. “We partnered with municipalities and states to guide and inform the population about health care after the floods. It is an education and health campaign, carried out on radios, in sound cars and with the distribution of folders”, informed the coordinator.

Main recommended care:

– Return home only after authorization from the Civil Defense or equivalent body;

– Remove the dirt left by the flood (before starting cleaning, put on protective equipment, such as long pants, boots and gloves, to avoid skin contact with contaminated water) and clean the area with soap and water and bleach for disinfection;

– Wash hands;

– Always filter and boil water before consumption or filter and mix with sodium hypochlorite. In times of crisis, the Civil Defense receives donations of mineral water, which must be used by the population for drinking, washing food and cooking.

– Foods that had direct contact with the flood should not be consumed. Food with open packaging and that came into contact with water must also be discarded.

– To avoid the presence of mice, keep food well stored, in well-closed containers and away from the ground; keep the kitchen clean and without food residues; remove leftover food or animal feed before nightfall; avoid the accumulation of unused objects in the backyard or inside the kitchen and store the garbage in well-closed plastic bags and in high places until collection occurs.

– To avoid accidental tetanus, the best and safest form of prevention is vaccination, available at health centers. Protect legs, feet, arms and hands when handling solid waste. If you don’t remember if you were vaccinated, look for the nearest health service and get vaccinated.

– To avoid accidents with snakes, spiders and scorpions, carefully enter the house and beat mattresses, sofas, clothes, shoes, towels and sheets. If you find any venomous animal, contact the Zoonoses Control Center or the fire department.

Jeanne Kenney
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I’m a stylist trainer, a content creator, and an entrepreneur passion. Virgo sign and Pisces ascendant, I move easily between my dreams, the crazy world I want, and my feet on the ground to carry out my projects.

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