Kerala has battled one of the worst floods in 100 years. People have been stranded, houses have been demolished and hundreds have died. While the situation right now isn’t as bad as it was in the last few days, the problems are far from over. The calamity has left behind a residue of problems.
Dr KK Aggarwal, the former National President of the Indian Medical Association who’s dealt with similar situations have listed down a few things that people should watch out for once they return home.
Leptospirosis and its threat of multi-organ failure
Water will be contaminated after the flood. There are also chances of the sewage water or even rat’s urine being mixed with the available water. This might lead to high risks of developing leptospirosis – a bacterial disease that is spread through the urine of infected animals. It is an inevitable outcome near the flood areas and can be lethal. It can also lead to multi-organ failure. As a precautionary measure, the doctor suggests that one should not walk bare feet as one is prone to contract leptospirosis when the water touches one’s feet.
Chances of developing jaundice, diarrhoea, malaria
There is an urgent need to look out for water-borne diseases like jaundice, diarrhoea, typhoid, among others. People should drink only boiled or filtered water. For those who are staying in camps, chlorine water serves as a safe option.
Other than this, accumulation of water might also lead to the outbreak of malaria, dengue. The job of every citizen is to not let water accumulate, wherever one goes. One should use mosquito nets or sprays to keep the pests at bay.
Food poisoning risks
There is also a need to protect oneself from food poisoning. If you are eating something that was kept in the open for long, then chances are that it can cause food poisoning. Therefore one should boil it, cook it, peel it or just forget it. One needs to identify those food that are fit for consumption.
There is also a high risk of electrocution. Stay away from loose wires and see that whenever you go back, your electricity connection is proper and earthed.
Another repercussion of the flood can be worm infestation in leafy vegetables. There is also the risk of snake bites. Care must also be taken that those who have died are properly cremated. At this time, humidity and moisture can be dangerous. While the pollution might be less, chances of one suffering from humidity-related disorders like fatigue, muscle cramps are high.