Stay Safe Chennai!

Mohit Vamsi Sule - 04 Dec 2015
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Image credits: PTI

In natural calamities like floods, there is a high risk of diseases spreading rapidly and turning into an epidemic. Such things will also add to the woes of the already strained rescue and medical teams in the city.

Here we want to spread awareness about some common diseases, their symptoms and their prevention:

Water-borne Diseases: The overflow of water from lakes and drainages poses a threat to the clean water sources, and consumption of contaminated water can cause various water-borne diseases like typhoid and diarrhea and Leptospirosis. Rescue workers face a greater threat of contracting these diseases given their extended exposure to contaminated water.

  • Common symptoms: Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, muscle aches and fever.
  • Precautions: Rescue workers should take extra care to be as hygienic as possible to minimize the chances of contaminants entering their body.

Vector-borne Diseases: Water logging in many places allows for mosquitoes to breed and grow. They transmit diseases like Dengue, Malaria, West-Nile and Encephalitis.

  • Common symptoms:
    1. Malarial: Fever, flu-like symptoms, nausea.
    2. Dengue: Severe headache, pain behind the eyes, muscle and joint pain, swollen glands and rash.
  • Precautions: Wear long sleeved shirts, full pants to protect yourself from mosquito bites. Get immediate medical attention if any symptoms persist for more than a few days.

Infections: Tetanus (Lockjaw) is another potentially fatal disease. The bacterias are found in soil or manure, and enter the body through cuts or puncture wounds.

  • Common symptoms: Spasms and stiffness in jaw muscles.
  • Precautions: Don’t leave any wounds or cuts open and use fully covering foot wears.

There is also a fear of skin infections from coming into contact with contaminated water, waste material or leaked chemicals. Do not use any water source if you are unsure and unless declared safe by the local authorities. Always wash your hands before meals with soap and clean or boiled water.

There may also be an increased risk of respiratory tract infections due to exposure (loss of shelter, exposure to flood waters and rain). Hypothermia may also be a problem, particularly for children, if trapped in floodwaters for lengthy periods. Most of these can be avoided by staying on dry ground as much as possible.

We hope these come in handy and pray for the speedy recovery.

Take care Singaara Chennai,
Team Medlabz

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