In conseils, standing water is a health hazard
Red Cross workers on a flooded street in Consilis (Antonio Masiello / Getty Images)
In still-flooded Romania town, ASL made vaccines available against tetanus and hepatitis and gave tips for avoiding infection
In Conselletes, in the province of Ravenna, the Health Authority of Romania has opened a clinic to vaccinate unprotected people against tetanus and hepatitis A. Vaccinations are recommended because in flood-affected areas it can increase the risk of some infections due to standing water.
Unlike almost all other municipalities in Romania, the water in Conselice is struggling to flow: there are still some areas that remain flooded, with many people moving daily, including rescuers and residents returning to their homes. The water is dark and still, with many opaque spots of fuel residue. The level drops very slowly, a few centimeters a day, so it will take at least a week to clean the streets.
The risk of infection has sparked some concern among the population, but for now the situation appears to be under control. “We are not in a state of health danger, and serious diseases do not spread,” He said Raffaella Angelini, in charge of the Health Company in Romania of the Public Hygiene Office.
However, the problem of infection should not be underestimated. like He made it clear Higher Institute of Health (ISS), health surveys conducted in previous floods indicated a risk associated above all with gastrointestinal infections, bacteriuria, West Nile fever, dengue virus and chikungunya. Moreover, in flooded areas where sewage systems are damaged, the risk of transmission of E. coli and hepatitis A is increased.
The Health Authority of Romania published a booklet with a series of rules and recommendations for both residents and volunteers assisting in the clearing and cleaning of flooded homes in all municipalities affected by the floods.
The first recommendation is to protect yourself with appropriate clothing: you should wear gloves made of waterproof material, which can be easily washed and disinfected, rubber boots and, if possible, goggles or a visor. Then there are some useful behavioral rules to avoid infection, which are generally valid for diseases: wash your hands thoroughly at the end of work or after each contact with water, dirt or wet animals, and avoid touching your face, nose and mouth with unclean hands. . Any skin lesions or abrasions should be protected with waterproof dressings. Children should not play in mud or water.
Moreover, water and dampness can lead to mold and germs that are dangerous to health. The health company recommends that homes be ventilated more often to help dry out walls and floors. In the event of close contact with mold-covered surfaces, it is advisable to cover the nose and mouth with a cloth or an FFP2 mask.
People who work in flooded areas are also advised to check their vaccination status. If the last tetanus booster shot was more than 10 years ago, a new vaccination should be done. “I’ve seen pictures of people entering the water as it flows from the rivers in flip flops with their bare hands,” said Raffaella Angelini. “This behavior exposes them to health risks, because in that water there can be anything, even debris from sewage or tetanus germs and a small graze on the skin is enough to allow potentially very harmful germs or bacteria into the body.”
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