Health Tips

Health tips during floods

Updated: Jul 24, 2020 Print
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A medical worker checks a child's health condition at a temporary settlement in Dangtu county, East China's Anhui province on July 20, 2020 after evacuation to a primary school as part of local flood control response. [Photo/Xinhua]

1. Do not drink unboiled water. Choose boiled water or bottled water that meets hygienic standards or water purified with bleaching powder.
Drink boiled water, bottled water and barreled water if conditions permit. Floods contain large amounts of soil, debris of putrid plants and animals, bacteria, parasites and viruses. It is dangerous to directly drink river water, mountain stream water, well water, spring water, or lake water even if they look clean. If you have to drink it, clarify and sterilize it with alum and bleaching powder (fine tablets), and boil it for at least five minutes.

2. Don't eat spoiled food. Don't eat drowned or sick livestock.
Food is perishable in the summer and autumn seasons with high temperature and humidity when flood disasters generally occur. Eating spoiled food may cause food poisoning. Eating unclean food may cause intestinal infectious diseases such as dysentery, typhoid fever, hepatitis A and cholera. Poultry and livestock that have drowned can spread infectious diseases such as swine streptococcus and avian flu, and should not be processed or eaten.

3. Pay attention to environmental hygiene. Do not defecate indiscriminately. Do not throw away garbage anywhere.
There is a large amount of garbage after floods that should be cleaned up as soon as possible. Urination and defecation at inappropriate places will not only pollute the water and the environment, but also may cause a large number of flies to breed and spread intestinal infectious diseases such as dysentery, typhoid fever, hepatitis A, and cholera.

4. Avoid prolonged soaking of hands and feet in water and try to keep the skin clean and dry to prevent skin ulcers and skin diseases.
Soaking skin in water for a long time may cause serious consequences such as skin ulceration and infection. Take a break every one to two hours when you work in the water. Avoid passing through sections of stagnant water during floods. The stagnant water can cover up deep pits, fallen wires, and other hazards. Remember to avoid wading through these sections to prevent accidental injury.

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