The hurricanes Harvey and Irma that impacted Texas and Florida aside great devastation have also brought bacteria due to which many public health experts issued a warning “Do not go in the water.”
This warning has risen to a higher alertness after a woman in Texas died from a horrible infection caused by “flesh-eating” bacteria.
New York Times reports that this lady named as Nancy Reed died on an age of 77 as a result of this bacteria, but previously she had fallen in a flooded home in Houston breaking her arm, and the bacteria entered into the wound.
As per Ms. Rachel Noble, professor of marine biology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, it is most likely that the death was caused by a marine microbe known as Vibrio. This microbe can become fatal for people with open wounds, and according to Noble the symptoms the woman had, matched to this bacteria.
It is common for the bacteria to come from the sewage system causing numerous diseases, but in these flooded areas the most dangerous microbe is the one coming from the open ocean. Noble maintains that we should be very careful when the marine microbes are concerned.
This bacterium was also present in the Hurricane Katrina where due toVibrio infections 5 people lost their lives and 22 lost their extremities. Noble sates that medical assistance needs to be offered immediately to the people with open wounds and injuries that have come in contact with the flooded water. These people should not wait as this cannot be neglected because if you wait for around 10 hours, the infection may develop, and amputation of your limb will be inevitable.
Plus, Noble strongly advises the people who have come into direct contact with the floodwater to closely observe the opened wounds. If there are hot, irritated, and red areas, and an occurrence of fever and chills then these conditions may be signs of Vibrio infection.
Furthermore, people with cuts or puncture wounds are at risk of tetanus, industrial chemicals and solvents, infections as a result of bacteria in the dust, soil, and manure because all of them can easily enter the body through these wounds or cuts endangering your body.
Another expert states the following warnings when a person comes to contact with flooded waters. Namely, Richard Bradley, the chief of EMS and disaster medicine at the University of Texas, McGovern Medical School, warns the occurrence of skin infections as a result of numerous bacteria present in the water. Whenever there is a flood the water picks up everything from pesticides to animal waste. Furthermore, let us not forget the wildlife because wild animals like snakes, insects, rodents and many more can be drawn to the water. So, this is an additional risk as per Brian Fry, an expert of poisonous snakes, reporting in Washington Post, the risk of snake bites is high.
The heath risk still remains even when the floodwater withdraws because the mold remains and it is present everywhere especially in buildings. According to CDC, after the Hurricane Katrina in 2005, most of the buildings were infected with mold, and mosquitoes and bugs are drawn by water.
Take care of yourself especially if you live in areas affected by floods. Ensure that you receive all needed vaccines and wash your hands as often as possible. Above all, make sure to inform your doctor if you have come in contact with flood water especially if you have an open wound or cut.