Hurricane Harvey: Hidden Health Dangers of Floods

#1 concern may be mental

(JEN CHRISTENSEN , CNN) Even after Hurricane Harvey’s immediate flooding threat goes away, Texas residents will still face a host of potential health problems from the water — and from what the water leaves behind.

PHOTO: The National Guard, CC

Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Tom Price declared a public health emergency in Texas on Sunday. That means the department has put additional medical personnel from around the country on alert, ready to provide help when they are needed.

The health concerns that floodwater can bring include physical and mental challenges.

RELATED: Feds Declare Public Health Emergency in Houston

Unhealthy floodwater

Floodwater is more than simple rain. It’s often contaminated with sewage and chemicals and can hide sharp objects made of metal or glass.

Floodwater can also carry disease. That’s a serious problem in developing countries where cholera, typhoid or yellow fever are already present, according to the World Health Organization. None of those diseases are common in Texas, so an outbreak is highly unlikely.

What may be more common will be people getting a bout of diarrhea or other stomach problems if they come into contact with contaminated water or if they consume food or drink that has. Using items that have been submerged in the water can also cause stomach problems. To cut down on infection, the CDC reminds parents not to let their children play with toys that have been in the water, unless the toys get washed thoroughly first.

Exposure to floodwater can increase a person’s risk for skin rashes, ear, nose and throat problems and conjunctivitis. The other major risk is drinking contaminated water. READ FULL POST AT CLICK2HOUSTON.

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