Flooding is the leading natural disaster in the world and one of the major environmental challenges faced by Assam as well as many other States in twenty-first India. Apart from damaging physical infrastructure; flood can lead to outbreaks of several diseases.
Flood has a wide range of health consequences such as drowning, injury, an outbreak of gastroenteritis, respiratory infections, poisoning, communicable diseases, epidemic diseases such as cholera, diarrhoea, and dengue fever, poor mental health, and disability, among others.
Here is a list of some post-flood diseases, their symptoms along with precautions:
Cholera is caused by bacteria known as Vibrio Cholerae.
Symptoms: Pelvic pain and vomiting are common symptoms of this disease. Shock and seizures may occur in severe cases.
Precautions: Drink and use safe water. Wash your hands often with soap. Cook food well, keep it covered, eat it hot, peel fruit and vegetables.
Leptospirosis is caused by the bacteria called Leptospira which is present in animals’ urine such as mice, cows and buffaloes.
Symptoms: High fever, headache, bleeding, muscle pain, chills, red eyes and vomiting are some symptoms.
Precautions: Avoid flood water. Wear protective clothing such as shoes, gloves, goggles, when working with animals, or working in water, soil or mud. Cover any cuts and abrasions on your skin with a waterproof dressing.
Diarrhoea may have many different causes including infection with a virus, change in diet, food intolerance.
Symptoms: Thirst, painful abdominal cramps, generalised weakness, nausea are some of the symptoms.
Rehydrate by adding powdered Gatorade to bottled water, or other electrolyte replacement solutions and clear fluids. Eat bland, easily digested foods.
The inflammation of the liver cells causes the liver to function abnormally. the virus that causes this inflammation is Hepatitis A.
Symptoms: Mild fever, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, and yellow eyes are common symptoms.
Precautions: Eat clean and cooked food. Do not share the same drinking glass with others.
Dengue fever is caused by virus infection with aedes aegypti, also known as, yellow fever mosquitoes as the carrier.
Symptoms: Loss of appetite, vomiting, muscle pain, reddish skin, and blood spots on the skin are a few common symptoms.
Precautions: Protect yourself against mosquito bites. Prevent mosquito breeding inside and outside your home. Avoid visiting areas prone to mosquitoes.
Typhoid fever is caused by bacteria called Salmonella Typhi which is present in contaminated drinking water and food.
Symptoms: Headaches, loss of appetite, high fever, and diarrhoea are the symptoms of this disease.
Precautions: Drink only boiling water. Avoid eating outside food. Clean your water purifier and water tank.