Protect Yourself! Flesh-Eating Bacteria In Floodwaters Can Really Harm Your Health And Even Be Deadly!
Because of the hurricanes Harvey and Irma that covered Texas and Florida in bacteria, many public health experts gave a warning “Do not go in the water.”
Nevertheless, the warning maybe became more significant after a woman in Texas died earlier today. She died from a horrible infection which was an outcome of “flesh-eating” bacteria.
According to New York Times, the 77-year-old woman, Nancy Reed had actually fallen in a flooded home in Houston. Also, she broke her arm, and the bacteria got into the wound.
Rachel Noble, professor of marine biology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, reported to Business Insider that she assumes it is Vibrio.
Vibrio is a marine microbe that it may be fatal to people with open wounds. Also, Noble says that the symptoms the woman had, matched.
The bacteria in the floodwaters in Texas and Florida come from the Sewage systems and the open ocean. Even though the microbes in the sewage cause diseases, Noble says that people should worry about the marine microbes.
As a result of the Hurricane Katrina and Vibrio infections, 5 people died and 22 lost limbs. And, the biggest concern for the infections was injuries and open wounds, as Noble reported.
Also, Noble said that people with open wounds who come in touch with the water must not wait, and need to get a check as soon as possible. If people wait for about 10 hours, the infection may develop, and amputation would be inevitable.
In addition, Noble advises people who come into direct with the floodwater and get symptoms of the infection, to closely observe the opened wounds.
Also, you should look after hot, irritated, and red areas. Even fever and chills may be signs of Vibrio infection. Also, people are in risk of industrial chemicals and solvents, tetanus, infections as a result of bacteria in the dust, soil, and manure that can enter into the body through a cut or puncture wound.
According to Richard Bradley, the chief of EMS and disaster medicine at the University of Texas, McGovern Medical School, reported to Time that people might get skin infections because of the high number of bacteria in the water.
Bradley said that floodwater picks up everything from pesticides to animal waste. And, there is another problem in these areas which is the wildlife. Wild animals such as snakes, bugs, etc., can be drawn to the water. So, according to Brian Fry (The Washington Post), an expert of poisonous snakes, the risk of snake bites is high.
Even when the floodwater withdraws, there would be risks because of the mold that can appear in structures. According to CDC, back in 2005 after the Hurricane Katrina, infected buildings had mold. Also, mosquitoes and bugs like water.
No matter where you are, you have to take care of yourself. Our tips are: make sure you get your vaccines and clean your hands often. And, inform your doctor if you have any open wounds or cuts that got in touch with the floodwater.