After Harvey and Irma
After the floodwaters from Katrina receded, dangerous pathogens were found still living on surfaces (CNN article and Washington Post article). Chemicals and toxins leaked into the floodwaters, in addition to nasty microbes from overflowing sewage and coffins which were exhumed due to the water. There were 30 cases of infections from MRSA, and Vibrio Vulnificus, a type of flesh-eating bacteria which was responsible for more than 20 illnesses and six deaths. Although the waters receded, some of these pathogens may well survive or persist on surfaces for months and can thereby be a continuous source of transmission.
It’s imperative to protect yourself and your loved ones. Be sure to wash your hands and bath thoroughly if you come into direct contact with the water. For any items that come in direct contact, the CDC recommends you throw them out when possible or make sure they’re thoroughly washed.
The CDC highly recommends that people who are staying at shelters be extra careful to wash their hands or to use an alcohol hand gel to prevent the spread of disease. People with open wounds need to be especially careful to keep them covered. Floodwater can easily cause a wound to become infected. Using a Wrapurse can also help prevent the transmission of these bacteria.
photo courtesy of: John Carkeet
Sebring vs Irma
September 11, 2017