As Typhoon “Mario” (Fung-Wong) barrels toward Taiwan after killing at least 10 and causing the worst flooding in Manila in two years, the Philippines Department of Health (DOH) issued a health warning for those affected by the massive flooding and the infectious disease risk.
The types of communicable diseases that can increase during and following a flood include water-borne diseases (e.g., typhoid fever, cholera, leptospirosis, and hepatitis A); and vector-borne diseases (e.g., malaria, dengue).
The DOH offers the following recommendations:
- Make sure drinking water is from a safe source.
- When in doubt, boil water for 2 minutes or longer, or chlorinate drinking water to make it safe.
- Food should be well-cooked.
- Leftovers should be covered and kept away from household pests.
- Food waste should be disposed properly.
- Keep yourself dry and warm.
- Consult a doctor at once if you, or any household member, have any sign or symptom of infection. This will help prevent the spread of infection in the evacuation area.
- Common infections or diseases that may spread in an evacuation area include: coughs and colds; acute gastroenteritis; skin and eye infections; measles; dengue; leptospirosis; and hepatitis A.
- Do not allow children to wade in floodwaters to avoid diseases, such as leptospirosis.
- Dispose all waste properly.
- Maintain personal hygiene. Always wash your hands before and after eating and using the toilet.
- Put safety first. Stay away from hanging wires and unstable structures.