With the immediate danger now gone, the people of Chennai will have to prepare for a aftermath of the flood – possibility of disease and infection in an environment that is primed for it. Clean up operations are on but garbage and other kinds of filth are rotting in the open all over the city and are breeding grounds for all kinds of diseases.
Infections and preventions
According to Dr Prabhu Shankar, Assistant Professor of Surgery at Saveetha Medical College, since the disaster involved flooding, water-borne diseases and vector-borne diseases are the ones to watch out for.
Diseases that could spread due to contaminated water include typhoid, cholera, leptospirosis. Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease caused due to contact with moist vegetation, or dirt contaminated with rodent urine. Vector-borne diseases include dengue and malaria.
Dr. Shankar also added, “Diabetic patients can also get affected with the contaminated water. It can cause diabetic ulcer foot. It is any kind of infection on the foot of a diabetic patient. It is caused because of moving in sewage water or flooded rainwater.”
Given that large parts of the city still have stagnant water, mosquito-breeding must be prevented by using insecticides and pesticides.
Diabetic patients should avoid walking in rain water as much as possible. “Diabetic patients must apply oil as it can provide protection to some extent,” said Dr. Prabhu.
One should wash their legs with clean water after coming in contact with the floodwater.
To prevent Leptospirosis, there are tablets which can be taken depending on the risk level of a person.
If one has any kind of infections, they should immediate get their wounds cleaned and dressed by a surgeon and take appropriate anti-biotics from a general physician, he said.
How to keep house clean after floods?
Before one starts cleaning, make sure that the electricity supply is turned off. Do not touch any sources of electricity while cleaning up the house.
Wear protective clothes like rubber cloves and water-proof jackets. Clean hands with disinfectant after cleaning.
Use a house-cleaning fluid and hot water to clean the floors and walls, also kitchen units or floorboards. After cleaning, use disinfectant on everything which was in contact with the flood water.
Contaminated clothes and bedding must be washed at a higher temperature. It should be kept for drying for few weeks. Throw out the things which have got badly affected in floods.