Flood infectious diseases can cause devastating damage to infrastructure, homes, and lives. The infection is caused by a bacteria called Leptospira. This bacteria is found in water and soil contaminated by animal urine. It can also be found in animal tissue, such as the liver and kidney. When these contaminated materials come into contact with human skin, they can cause an infection.
Main causes of diseases
The main cause of waterborne diseases during flooding is the contamination of the drinking water supply. Waterborne diseases spread when floods enter bacteria, parasites, and viruses into the clean water supply.
Water-borne diseases such as typhoid fever, cholera, leptospirosis, and hepatitis A and E might potentially be spread more easily as a result of flooding. Malaria, dengue, dengue hemorrhagic, and West Nile fever are vector-borne illnesses.
Symptoms of diseases
- Muscle aches
The most common symptoms of infectious diseases are fever, chills, and fatigue. However, depending on the specific condition, other symptoms may include headaches, body aches, rash, nausea, and vomiting.
Floodwaters can contain harmful bacteria and viruses that can cause serious illness. While most people will recover from an infectious disease with proper treatment, some people can develop complications that can be life-threatening.
One of the most commonly reported infections after flooding due to overcrowding in shelters is respiratory tract infections (RTIs). After the devastating flood in Pakistan, many cases of RTIs were reported after the flood.
Based on yearly epidemics and the history of virus circulation, it may be possible to forecast potential viral respiratory infections that could trigger RTI outbreaks in flood survivors.
Gastrointestinal infections are illnesses caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites that cause gastroenteritis, which is an inflammation of the gastrointestinal system including both the stomach and the small intestine. Among the symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain.
Viral gastroenteritis may occur as a result of issues with sewage systems, poor hygiene, crowding, and contaminated drinking water.
After floods, mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue fever might become more prevalent, particularly in endemic areas. Standing water from river overflows could serve as mosquito breeding grounds. As a result, vector-borne diseases have long-term consequences for public health.
How is it transmitted?
There are a few ways that infectious diseases can be transmitted during a flood. contaminated water can cause skin infections or gastrointestinal illnesses. If you have any cuts or open wounds, they can become infected if they come into contact with contaminated water. You can also become ill if you eat food that has been contaminated by floodwater. Mosquitoes are another source of infection during a flood, as they can carry diseases like malaria, dengue fever, and West Nile virus. To protect yourself from these dangers, it is important to practice good hygiene and avoid contact with floodwater as much as possible.
How serious is it?
Floods can lead to the outbreak of many different types of diseases. Some of these diseases can be deadly, while others may cause only mild symptoms. Many of the diseases that can occur after a flood are waterborne, meaning they are spread by contaminated water.
What is the treatment?
The treatment for an infectious disease caused by a flood is to seek medical help as soon as possible. There are many different types of infections that flood waters can cause, so it is important to get to a doctor or hospital as soon as possible to be properly diagnosed and treated. Depending on the type of infection, the treatment may be antibiotics, antivirals, or other medication. It is important to follow the instructions of a medical professional when treating infection to ensure the best chance for recovery.
There are many ways to prevent infection during a flood. The most important thing is to avoid contact with floodwater, which can contain harmful bacteria and other contaminants. If you must come into contact with floodwater, be sure to wear protective clothing, including gloves, boots, and a mask.
It’s also important to practice good hygiene, including washing your hands often and disinfecting surfaces that may have come into contact with floodwater. To avoid infection, make sure to keep any open wounds clean and covered.
Finally, be sure to monitor your health closely for signs of infection, such as fever, diarrhea, or respiratory problems. If any of these symptoms appear, get emergency medical help.
The flood has caused a rise in the number of cases of infectious diseases. The most affected areas are those with poor sanitation and hygiene conditions. The government is working on providing clean water and sanitation facilities to these areas to help prevent the spread of disease.