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Ministry of Health & Wellness says to be wary of vector, waterborne diseases due to flooding

Posted: Wednesday, October 12, 2022. 11:11 am CST.

Photo Credit: MOHW

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The Ministry of Health & Wellness (MOHW) is advising everyone to be wary of vector and waterborne diseases that may be caused due to the floods.

“The Ministry of Health & Wellness advises that flood waters can be the source of many infectious diseases, chemical hazards and injuries and, therefore, urges the public to avoid walking, working or playing in floodwaters,” said a press release sent out by the MOHW on Wednesday.

“Exposure to contaminated floodwater can cause wound infections, skin rashes, stomach illnesses, tetanus and waterborne diseases such as typhoid fever, cholera, leptospirosis and hepatitis A.” 

The Ministry listed several recommendations we should all follow to remain safe after a flood:

These are:

– Always stay out of floodwater, especially if you have an open wound.

– Cover any open wounds you may have with a waterproof bandage to reduce the chance of infection.

– Keep open wounds as clean as possible by washing them well with soap and clean water. Seek medical attention if necessary.

– Wear boots, rubber gloves and goggles if you must enter flood waters.

– Always practice good personal hygiene.

The MOHW also reminds Belizeans that stagnant water caused by the increased rains and floods become breeding sites for mosquitoes.

“All persons living or going into the affected areas must exercise caution to prevent mosquito bites, which could cause dengue and other vector-borne diseases,” said the MOHW.

“Everyone is asked to protect themselves by using long-sleeved clothing and long pants, using mosquito repellent and mosquito coils, and ensuring windows are properly screened or closed before nightfall.”

The MOHW also advises communities to clean their surroundings and remove containers with standing water as those can be breeding sites for mosquitoes as well.

The MOHW also advised everyone that should they require more information, to visit the nearest public health or vector control office.


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