Restricting post BERYL health hazards: Follow Precautions

Hurricane Beryl has now passed after spreading over majority of the Caribbean region, bringing immense damage to small islands and countries. It is now necessary to take precautions to prevent diseases.

Restricting post BERYL health hazards: Follow Precautions
Restricting post BERYL health hazards: Follow Precautions

Hurricane Beryl has now passed after spreading over majority of the Caribbean region, bringing immense damage to small islands and countries. As we emerge out from the destruction caused by this calamity, it has become important for us to protect ourselves against diseases that may spread following the hurricane.

Hurricanes serves as a vector for infectious diseases by causing floods, evacuations, and overcrowding. Following are the diseases that can be caused and the preventive measures one need to take to overcome them;

Infectious Disease that can be caused following a hurricane;

  1. Water Borne Diseases

Following a hurricane, the drinking water has extremely high chances of getting contaminated. The hurricane can cause water pipelines to fracture or break and overflowing sewages can further contaminate water lines. Typhoid, Dysentery, e. coli infection, cholera are among the diseases that can be transmitted through contaminated water. Contaminated drinking water poses a considerable health threat, particularly to infants, kids, the elderly, and anyone with weak immune systems.

  1. Vector Borne Diseases

A hurricane can lead to one of the most infectious bacterial disease, Leptospirosis. Leptospirosis can spread when the urine of an infected animal- usually rats and mice contaminates the flood water. The rodents are considered a vector to several diseases as their faeces contain a range of disease-causing bacteria and viruses.

Dengue and malaria are another most common vector borne disease which can spread quickly after a hurricane from mosquitoes. the threat of these disease is more during this time because of Increased standing water.

  1. Respiratory Diseases

Communicable respiratory infections like COVID-19, influenza, and the common cold are major concerns in the hurricane shelters. Hurricane shelters can encourage the spread of respiratory infections due to overcrowding, improper sanitation, and inadequate resources. Moreover, Mold exposure can stimulate Asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory issues The lack of access to health care and treatment further stimulates the risk of death from acute respiratory infections.

  1. Skin Infections, Wounds and other injuries

The concern for skin infections is at peak after a storm. Infections such as Cellulitis and necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating bacteria) is at peak after the disaster, Reportedly, when Hurricane Ian struck Florida, there were reports of a rise in flesh-eating bacteria throughout the state.

Open wounds and injuries caused during the storm can cause life threatening diseases like tetanus. Open wounds can easily catch tetanus through flood waters or eroded soil.

Preventions to be taken to avoid such diseases

  1. Avoid exposure to Contaminated Water: do not expose yourself much to floodwaters. If important try to wear some protective clothing to prevent the infections. Bath properly after coming back home.
  2. Boil or Purify Water: Do not drink water before boiling and purifying it. Precautious Ly use water purifying tablets and chlorinate the water to kill any infection.
  3. Proper Wound Care: The need to sanitize any open wounds consistently is more than necessary during this time. Regularly clean any cuts or wounds with clean water and always apply an antiseptic to them.
  4. Vaccinations: do not hesitate to take any vaccination necessary to cure the infection. Stay up to date with the shots of tetanus.
  5. Use Mosquito Repellent: Promptly use mosquitoes repellents and try to prevent standing water nearby your premises.
  6. Hygiene Practices: follow clean hygiene practices especially while eating food. Always double clean your hands with clean water and soap and use a sanitizer for more protection.
  7. Seek Medical Help: Do not hesitate to seek any medical diagnosis for any signs of infection or unusual symptoms.

In conclusion, a hurricane can cause severe life threatening hazards due to limited healthcare access and exposure to contaminated environments. However, taking proper precautions and preventions can safeguard against the diverse health threats posed in the aftermath of natural disasters.