Tuesday January 21, 2020

Floods Directly Associated with increased Skin Infections in Humans

Also, visiting a board-certified dermatologist for skin-related problems is advisable

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Flooding in Texas. Wikimedia

Floods are associated with an increased risk of skin infections among humans, a skin expert has warned.

Skin and soft tissue infections can develop when injured skin is exposed to floodwaters containing sewage, chemicals and other pollutants, HealthDay reported.

In particular, natural disasters like tsunamis and hurricanes can cause major soil disruption that leads to the release of unusual infectious organisms.

“The health implications for people exposed to floodwaters are staggering and include a wide variety of dermatologic (skin) issues, such as wound infections, contact dermatitis and even electrical injuries from downed power lines,” said Justin Bandino, Assistant Professor at the San Antonio Military Medical Centre in the US.

“In cases when malnourished patients have not had access to food and clean water, even a small, superficial cut that has been exposed to these infectious organisms can result in a potentially dangerous infection,” he said.

Animals and insects also pose risks to flood victims. Bites from domesticated and non-domesticated animals increase as flooding forces them to compete with people for space in dry areas, said Bandino.

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The floods are the result of weeks of devastating rain in Queensland. Pixabay

In addition, stagnant floodwaters provide breeding areas for mosquitoes, which can lead to outbreaks of mosquito-borne diseases like Zika or malaria.

One will need a basic first-aid kit that includes supplies for cleaning, covering and treating minor wounds, as well as insect repellent, Bandino suggested.

Further, keeping on hand a basic survival kit that includes non-perishable food and water supplies is essential to help reduce the chance of malnourishment and dehydration, which both increase the risk of infection.

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“Tsunamis, hurricanes, floods and other emergency situations can aggravate existing dermatologic conditions, such as eczema or psoriasis. When possible, take any medications for current skin conditions with you during an evacuation, along with other basic first-aid supplies; this can greatly reduce the opportunity for a flare,” said Bandino.

Also, visiting a board-certified dermatologist for skin-related problems is advisable, the expert added. (IANS)

Next Story

New Virus Can Spread Through Human Contact: China

China: Possible That New Virus Could Spread Between Humans

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Security guards stand in front of the closed Huanan wholesale seafood market, where health authorities say a man who died from a respiratory illness had purchased goods from, in the city of Wuhan, Hubei province, China. VOA

The possibility that a new virus in central China could spread between humans cannot be ruled out, though the risk of transmission at the moment appears to be low, Chinese officials said Wednesday.

Forty-one people in the city of Wuhan have received a preliminary diagnosis of a novel coronavirus, a family of viruses that can cause both the common cold and more serious diseases. A 61-year-old man with severe underlying conditions died from the coronavirus on Saturday.

While preliminary investigations indicate that most of the patients had worked at or visited a particular seafood wholesale market, one woman may have contracted the virus from her husband, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said in a public notice.

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Commuters wear protection masks inside a subway train in Hong Kong, China. VOA

The commission said the husband, who fell ill first, worked at the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market. Meanwhile, the wife said she hasn’t had any exposure to the market.

It’s possible that the husband brought home food from the market that then infected his wife, Hong Kong health official Chuang Shuk-kwan said at a news briefing. But because the wife did not exhibit symptoms until days after her husband, it’s also possible that he infected her.

Chuang and other Hong Kong health officials spoke to reporters Wednesday following a trip to Wuhan, where mainland Chinese authorities briefed them on the outbreak.

The threat of human-to-human transmission remains low, Chuang said, as hundreds of people, including medical professionals, have been in close contact with infected individuals and have not been infected themselves.

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She echoed Wuhan authorities’ assertion that there remains no definitive evidence of human-to-human transmission.

The outbreak in Wuhan has raised the specter of SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome. SARS is a type of coronavirus that first struck southern China in late 2002. It then spread to more than two dozen countries, killing nearly 800 people. (VOA)