Chennai Floods Aftermath - Precautions Against an Epidemic Threat
Chennai city has been marooned after the torrential rains that lashed last week. As the crazy downpour subsides and the raging flood water recedesin most parts of Chennai it is wrong for us to think that life can get back to normalcy that easily. The threat of an epidemic outbreak looms over Chennai city after the incessant rains and floods. Reduced sanitation levels, overcrowding of displaced locals in Chennai and sewage-contaminated watercan make Chennaites vulnerable to infectious diseases.Hence, it isimportant to take adequate precautionary measures to ensure safety againstthe possible outbreak of many infectious diseases and stay healthy.
Asthe flood water recedes, it will leave behind a trail of diseases. Here are some of the precautionary tips for the flood-battered Chennai residents to stay healthy and disease free.
- Contamination of water sources by sewage in many places pose a major health threat. Hence, consider all water unsafe. Boil water that is used for drinking and cooking, whether it is from the tap or can. Water wells should also be disinfected and tested, even though water treatment device is installed.
- It is imperative to maintain excellent personal hygiene and cleanliness. Wash your hands with soap and clean, warm running water beforepreparing or eating food, after toilet use and after handling articles contaminated in flood water. Make sure to clean and disinfect everything that is wet. The mud left from the floodwaters contain sewage and hazardous chemicals.
- Intensive water logging in the city after incessant rains is an ideal breeding place for mosquitoes resulting in an upsurgence of mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria.Sleeping under mosquito nets and spraying of insecticide are the ways to prevent it. Wearing long sleeved shirts, full pants and applying an insect repellant could also help.Camphor pellets in water cupsora couple of cloves embedded in half cut lime can help to get rid of mosquitoes.
- Flood waters also facilitate the proliferation of rodents and the spread of Leptospires. Yes, Leptospirosis threat looms large in the city, a disease known to spread through accumulated water infested by the urine of rats/dogs. Avoid standing in stagnant pools, especially near garbage sites to keep Leptospirosis at bay. If you happen to walk in flood water wash your legs thoroughly with clean water.If you have cuts or scratches cover up the wound with adhesive bandages.
- Avoid walking or wading through waterlogged roads if you have broken skin or wounds, especially if you suffer from diabetes or any other chronic diseases.
- After the massive flooding, thousands of floating carcasses of animals that are not properly disposed of can lead to the outbreak of cholera. Ensuring safe drinking water and proper sanitation are critical in preventing it.
- Fungal infections that tend to develop between the toes due to wet surroundings can be dealt with by applying anti-fungal creams.
- Those exposed to the ravages of floods may have higher risk for stress-induced illnesses and injuries. The impact of “flood stress” is greater during the rebuilding phase than when waters inundated their homes and businesses. Expressions of care, concern, assurance and encouragement from a loved one or neighbor gives them the strength to cope up with the ‘ravages of nature’.
Now that the flood waters are receding and the sun is out, Chennaites heave a sigh of relief. But remember, it’s also the time to protect ourselves from the aftermath – the potentially infectious diseases. Leptospirosis, diarrhea, malaria, dengue, cholera, typhoid, chikungunya, severe skin allergies, fungal infections and infected cuts and wounds inevitably follow flooding.Prompt and adequate preventive action and control measures are essential for minimizing infectious disease risks.
S10 Health has opened health helpline for the flood-ravaged Chennai residents. Call @ 044 40 510 510.You can visit our website www.s10health.com/chennai-flood-relief to support and contribute towards our relief activities. You can seek guidance on health from the helplines set up by S10 Health! Let us with the help of S10 Health combat the post-flood diseases and stay safe and healthy!
Chennai flood victims, do stay strong, safe and healthy! You will surely bounce back, S10 Health will stand by you! With S10 Health - shun the flood-borne diseases and get ready to stun the world!