Weather Alert

2nd NAMED STORM FORMS

Tropical Storm Bertha has formed over the Atlantic with winds of 45 miles per hour. The storm is not forecast to become a hurricane. The storm is not forecast to move into the Gulf of Mexico.

WEATHER ALERT


TROPICAL STORM BERTHA

Health Watch

Health Watch

 
text size

HEALTHWATCH: Medical issues to watch out after the flood

Updated: Thursday, May 8 2014, 09:17 AM CDT
Damaged homes and standing water are causing more than just stress and frustration in Northwest Florida.  They are actually causing an increase in trips to the Emergency Room for some people.
Channel Three's Jim Carmack says, "As the slow clean up process continues from the flooding we saw, health professionals are now concerned because of the dangers lurking beneath the water."

Standing water...  It's just plain frustrating.  And potentially dangerous.

Dr. Stephanie Duggan, Sacred Heart Hospital's Chief Medical Officer says, "You need to wear the boots because you don't know what's in there.  You could have a snake.  You could have a dirty piece of rusty material that's been washed in from somewhere else, so you don't know what you're getting into.  You absolutely need to take every precaution that you can."

Dr. Duggan says they typically see two types of injuries after a disaster like this.  "The first really are the exposure type injuries.  Those are the injuries that occur from the standing water where the mold gets released, the spores get released, people are inadvertently contaminated, they drink water that has been contaminated that they haven't boiled.  Then the actual physical injuries is kind of the other side of the scale.  These are the injuries people have where they injure their backs, they injure their necks, they get cut with the nails as they're trying to walk into a building where the structure isn't stable and they slip on that." 

Cuts or scratches can also expose you to tetanus.  If you have an injury that's bleeding, get a tetanus shot if you are not up to date.  In addition, protect yourself by using approved mosquito repellant, sunscreen, and drinking plenty of clean water to avoid dehydration.  Children and adults also need to stay away from areas and roads that received damage because the ground could still give way.

"What you think might be safe could easily continue to erode and continue to fall," says Duggan.  "And the open sewage is never... There's nothing good I could say about that so please keep your children away from that, and you adults that want to get out there, too, please stay away from that as well."

Clean ups from situations like this require precaution and patience.  And a lot of times that's easier said than done.  More health informationHEALTHWATCH: Medical issues to watch out after the flood


Advertise with us!

Related Stories

ABC National Health News

Why We Don't Have an Ebola Vaccine
An Ebola outbreak has infected 1,323 people and killed 729 of them.
Ebola-Stricken Doc Gives 'Experimental Serum' to Coworker
Kent Brantly was treating Ebola patients in Liberia.
Mom Raises Money to Fund Son's 'Smile' Surgery
Maddox Perales can't smile because of genetic condition.
US Warns Against Traveling to Ebola-Hit Countries
US issues highest-level travel warning for 3 west African countries over Ebola.
Why 6 Seconds of Exercise Can Be as Worthwhile as 90 Minutes
When it comes to exercise, even a little can go a long way.
How the US Government Could Evacuate Americans With Ebola
See the "plastic tent" in a plane that could fly infected Americans out of Africa.
Warm Water Sparks Flesh-Eating Disease Warning in Florida
Florida health officials are warning beachgoers about a seawater bacterium that can invade cuts and scrapes and cause flesh-eating disease.
Peace Corps Pulling Volunteers From Ebola-Affected Countries
The aid group Samaritan's Purse is pulling nonessential personnel out of West Africa after two workers contracted Ebola.
Ebola, Spreading in Africa, Could Land in US
An Ebola outbreak that has killed at least 672 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone could land in the U.S., health officials said.
Top Sierra Leone Doctor Dies of Ebola
Dr. Shek Umar contracted the virus while helping others.
Generation of Tanners See Spike in Deadly Melanoma
Surgeon General: Skin cancer rates spike after generation of sunbathing, tanning beds
Fist Bumps Less Germy Than Handshakes, Study Says
Maybe athletes and President Obama are on to something.
What We Don’t Know About Lethal Injection Drugs
Drug doses and suppliers are sometimes kept secret, experts say.
Fear of Flying Amplified by Flurry of Air Disasters
Experts say flying can be 'perfect storm' for phobias.
Cards, and Love, Keep Pouring In for Little Boy Battling Cancer
Over 15,000 cards have been mailed to Danny Nickerson, the five-year-old battling cancer who is turning six tomorrow.
Report Raises Safety Questions on Popular Blood Thinner
Pradaxa has been linked to bleeding complications.
Cancer Lessons I Learned From a Fictional Teenage Boy
That love scene from "The Fault in Our Stars" is so intense.
How Hotter Summers Are Putting Swimmers at Risk
As families flock to pools and lakes to cool off, experts are warning about a risky consequence of climate change: waterborne disease.
Watch: Inside an Airport Quarantine Station
ABC News' Dr. Richard Besser the CDC Quarantine Station at Newark Airport in New Jersey.
Watch: 25 New Cases of Chikungunya in New Jersey
New Jersey residents who just returned from travel in the Caribbean reportedly have brought back the mosquito-carried virus.
Watch: NCAA Settles Class-Action Head Injury Lawsuit
The NCAA will create a $70 million fund to diagnose athletes to determine if they suffered brain trauma while playing contact sports.
Watch: American Doctor Undergoing Treatment After Testing Positive for Ebola
Dr. Kent Brantly came into contact with the deadly virus while treating Ebola patients in Liberia.
7 Odd Reasons You Bruise Easily
There are plenty of reasons for easy bruising, the discoloration caused by a trauma that ruptured blood vessels just under the skin. Check out the surprising explanations behind your sore spots and learn which ones are harmless and which ones need attention.
11 Foods That Make You Hungrier
Feeling hungry? You should eat. But what if the foods you're eating actually make you hungrier than you were before you dug in? It's a more common conundrum than you might think.
14 Ways to Fight Hair Loss
Just because thinning is natural doesn't mean you have to accept it.
7 Subtle Signs You’re Drinking Too Much
How can you tell if you’re developing a problem? Not all the clues are the same for all people, but here are common signs you could be headed for trouble—and how to turn it around.
 

Enrollment for healthcare exchanges as part of healthcare reform begins October 1 in states where exchanges will be set up. Expect special reports each week from us about what you need to know about 'Obamacare' and the ongoing political fight about its future.

To Learn More About Health Care Reform, Click Here

Navigation

Sacred Heart Health System - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
Sacred Heart Cardiology - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
Sacred Heart Cancer Center - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
Sacred Heart Orthopedics - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
Coastal Vein Institute - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
The Endoscopy Center - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
Coastal Vascular & Interventional - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
Stand Up Open MRI - Health Watch - WEAR ABC Channel 3
Advertise with us!

Tonight on ABC 3

06:30PM Who Wants to be a Millionaire?
07:00PM Grey's Anatomy
08:00PM Grey's Anatomy
09:00PM Black Box
10:00PM Channel 3 News

Complete ABC 3 Schedule