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Health advice issued to flood-hit home owners
10:21am Tuesday 25th September 2012 in News
Residents in Cumbria have been warned to follow hygeine advice if they contact flood waters, today.
People living in flood zones are advised to keep a flood kit ready including a torch, batteries, fully charged mobile phone, warm clothing, water, food and any prescription medicines you may need.
NHS Cumbria said people should make sure neighbours are aware of flooding, offer help, and avoid walking, cycling or diving through flood water.
They also issued the following advice: Try to avoid coming into direct skin contact with dirty water Parents should not let their children play in floodwater and also ensure that any items suspected of being in contact with dirty water are thoroughly cleaned before further use Suitable waterproof gloves (such as household cleaning gloves) and wellingtons should be worn if possible Cuts and other open wounds should be covered with a waterproof plaster Hands and body should be thoroughly cleaned in hot water and soap after contact with flood water or soiled materials Food or drink suspected of being in contact with flood water should be thrown away.
Don’t eat garden or allotment produce which has been in contact with flood water Wash down any soiled surfaces with hot water and detergent or disinfectant. Thoroughly wash all crockery, pots and pans etc in hot soapy water.
Don’t use electrical or gas appliances affected by flooding until they have been checked by a competent trained professional.
Exercise particular caution if walking through murky water as this can often conceal hidden hazards.
Anyone who has been in contact with dirty water or soiled materials who develops diarrhoea, fever or abdominal pain in the following 10 days should seek medical advice.
Dr Nigel Calvert, associate director of public health for NHS Cumbria, said: “Infections arising after contact with flood water are uncommon as any harmful bugs in floodwater are usually very diluted and therefore present a very small risk if proper hygiene precautions are followed.
“If you start to feel ill after accidentally swallowing dirty water or mud, particularly if you develop diarrhoea, fever or abdominal pain within 10 days of being in contact with dirty floodwater you should contact your GP.
“The most important thing is to wash your hands and body where you’ve come into contact with dirty water. This is especially important before eating and preparing food and after going to the toilet.”
Anyone feeling distressed by flooding incidents, or notice family or friends displaying changes in behaviour due to stress may benefit from speaking to someone and they can either go and speak to their GP or contact First Step by calling 0300 123 9122 themselves to get help.