Monday May 27, 2019

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

Prompt Evacuations in Southwestern Iran After Heavy Rains

Besides heavy rains, heavy damage from the floods has been blamed on widespread disregard for safety regulations in building and road constructions near rivers.

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A general view of the flooded city of Poldokhtar in the Lorestan province, April 2, 2019. Officials have ordered mass evacuations in neighboring Khuzestan as extensive rainfall reaches the oil-rich southwestern province. VOA

Iranian authorities have ordered the evacuation of six more towns in the southwestern province of Khuzestan, which is widely inundated with floods, state TV reported Saturday.

Gholamreza Shariati, the provincial governor, told state TV that rescue teams are taking residents to nearby shelters, including three army barracks.

Evacuation orders came as a new round of rain and floods is expected.

Shariati said emergency discharges from dams and reservoirs were adding to the high floodwaters, but such measures were essential to prevent the dams from overflowing or catastrophic breaches, with river waters continuing to rise upstream from the province.

Young men were asked to remain behind to help with rescue operations.

An Iranian woman walks through a flooded street in the city of Poldokhtar in the Lorestan province, April 02, 2019.
An Iranian woman walks through a flooded street in the city of Poldokhtar in the Lorestan province, April 02, 2019. VOA

Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli told state TV that about 400,000 people are at risk out of the province’s population of 5 million.

Eleven towns and scores of villages have been evacuated. There have been no evacuation orders for major cities, including the province’s capital of Ahvaz, which has 1.7 million residents.

There have been no reports of damage to the province’s petroleum facilities, which account for roughly 80 percent of Iran’s oil production.

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Authorities have put the number of dead at 70 people, as major flooding has hit the western half of the country, after years of drought.

Besides heavy rains, heavy damage from the floods has been blamed on widespread disregard for safety regulations in building and road constructions near rivers. (VOA)