Saturday, October 29, 2011

REPOST: 6 Diseases To Be Cautious During Floods

I've got this important message from my Facebook wall, it is actually from Samitevej Expat Club, where I am one of the members of the said group. I thought about reposting it here to help someone who needs this kind of information. Specially, now that we are experiencing this flood crisis here in Bangkok, Thailand. 

Technically, my family and I are still on the safe grounds, no floods (as of now).. But, we aren't sure of what's gonna happen tomorrow. Atleast, we are prepared on how to prevent getting sick by reading and understanding what was listed below:

Anyway, PREVENTION is still better than cure.

6 Diseases to Be Cautious During Floods

1. Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis is an epidemic which is contracted from animals. It is caused by the bacteria called Leptospira which is present in animals’ urine such as mice, cows and buffaloes. Human being can be infected by leptospira bacteria through open wound or through skin that has been in the water for a prolong period of time. The bacteria can also enter the body through the mucous membrane of the eyes and mouth.

Symptoms: Leptospirosis has two different types of symptoms. The less severe one has the symptoms of a normal cold with headaches, fever and muscles aches. This can be cured if the patient acts early and seeks medical attention right at the beginning of the illness. The more severe one has the symptoms of red eye infection, watery eyes, unable to tolerate bright lights. When the infection spread to the brain, the patient will become delirious, slip into coma. And if the disease infects the entire body, it may cause internal bleeding which can result in death.

Prevention: Avoid walking and swimming in trapped flood water, especially children, who enjoy treading or swimming in flood water. If you cannot avoid walking through the flooded areas, try to walk quickly and try not to stay in the water for too long as the skin become soft and tender and can be infected more easily. You should wear rubber boots every time you walk in the water to prevent foot injury and to prevent pathogens from contacting the wound on the foot or leg as well as prevent being bitten by animals in the water. People who have an onset of a headache and fever, must immediately see their doctor, do not wait until the symptoms become more serious as it may be too late for treatment.

2. Cholera

This disease is caused by bacteria Vibrio Cholera which is spread in drinking water and food. The flies are carriers of this disease. The disease is contracted by drinking and eating food swarmed by flies that are infected with cholera bacteria and by eating uncooked food.

Symptoms: The patient has watery stool several times a day. He may have abdominal pain or vomiting. But if the infection is severe, the patient will have diarrhea of enormous volume that looks like rice-water and smells fishy.

Prevention: Eat clean and freshly cooked food and drink boiled water; wash and clean your hands and food containers. Do not use flood water to wash food containers and avoid contact with cholera patients. If you contract the disease, you must seek medical advice and follow the medical instructions.

3. Typhoid fever

This is caused by Salmonella Typhi bacteria which may be present in water and food similar to cholera disease. It is spread by contaminated drinking water and food.

Symptoms: When first contracted with this disease, the symptoms will not be apparent immediately. The symptoms will be obvious after about 1 week. The patients have headaches, loss of appetite, have high fever, diarrhea, some develop rash on the body, stomach bloating. The symptoms may go away within 1 month by itself. However, the patients should still seek medical advice if they contract this disease to prevent complications such as contracting pneumonia.

Prevention: Avoid food that may be contaminated. This means that you eat clean food from a clean container including washing your hands before every meal. You should also avoid street food in an area that is unclean or high risk for contamination. Alternatively, you can get vaccinated against typhoid fever.

4. Hepatitis A

The inflammation of the liver cells causes the liver to function abnormally.Virus that causes inflammation of the liver during the flood period is hepatitis A. This illness can be caused by eating dirty or uncooked food.

Symptoms: In the first week, the patients have mild fever, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, pain around the right rib cage, urine of dark tea color as well as an onset of jaundice and yellow eyes. The patients may be back to normal within 2-4 weeks.

Prevention: Eat clean and cooked food. Do not share the same drinking glass and spoon with others.

5. Conjunctivitis

This is caused by bacteria called Chlamydia trachomatis and Bacterial Conjunctivitis. It may be due to allergies or exposure to toxic materials, often caused by rubbing the eyes with dirty hands or with a towel or handkerchief.

Symptoms: The patients have itchy eyes. Some may feel so itchy that they have to rub their eyes all the time. Some may feel only minor irritation and have more discharge than usual. The discharge is pus like and makes the eye sticks shut in the morning. Their vision may be unclear or blurred. Some may have eye sore.
Prevention: Wash your hands, do not share cosmetics, towels, handkerchiefs with others. Avoid touching your eyes in all cases, do not share eye drops with others. If your eyes start to feel itchy or irritating, consult a pharmacist or doctor without delay.

6. Dengue Fever

This is caused by virus infection with aedes aegypti mosquitoes as the carrier. The disease is frequently found in children. The outbreaks are common in the rainy season which is the breeding season for these mosquitoes.

Symptoms: Patient has high fever for 2-7 days, loss of appetite, vomit with some brownish materials, muscle pain, reddish skin, rash, red blood spots on the skin. In the advanced stage, the patient will have low fever, cold hands and feet, rapid pulse rate, small amount of urination. They may vomit frequently and may have a shock.

If they experience these symptoms, they should see a doctor immediately.

Prevention: Try to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes by applying mosquito repellent. This is the best method. And do not leave containers with water around the house because they will become breeding ground for the mosquitoes. If you are contracted with this disease, you must avoid mosquito bites as they will spread the disease to others.

                                           Photos by: Cecille Cruda via Facebook

My special thanks to Cecille for these photo shots that I grabbed today. I'm glad she's safe notwithstanding this flood crisis. I hope and pray that this will end up soon.

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