Safety hazards and health risks to look out for following flooding

Another safety risk is infection from floodwaters. whether it be from open cuts or ingesting contaminated water

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – As flood clean-up continues in eastern Kentucky, there are hazards and risks that still pose a danger to people living there, and also to those helping with relief efforts.

“It’s important that people know that although they want their home to be a safe haven after the flood, somewhere to return to that is safe, it is not” said University of Kentucky Professor Erin Haynes, Chair of Epidemiology and Environmental Health.

Structural damage,  electric charges, carbon monoxide exposure and mold growth are just a few things Professor Erin Haynes,  says are a safety hazard for people in Eastern Kentucky right now.

“This is a hazardous worksite, watch out for structures, unstable foundations, ceilings can cave in, walls can fall, and that can be one of the biggest injuries, sources of injuries” she added.

She says its important to protect yourself if you are involved in clean up and relief efforts, by wearing protective gear, like gloves, safety goggles, long sleeve shirts and pants, hard hats, masks, and boots.

Another safety risk is infection from floodwaters. whether it be from open cuts or ingesting contaminated water.

“It may be contaminated with livestock feces, it may be contaminated with human feces, it may be contaminated with lake water and other sources we shouldn’t be in contact with”said Professor Craig Martin, Chief Operating Officer and Professor at UK College of Pharmacy.

Tetanus is a major risk, that should be treated immediately if exposed.

Professor Martin says people going to help with clean up should make sure they are up to date with their tetanus shots, before getting their hands dirty.

“It’s better than nothing at any point, but it works best if it gives your body a chance to build up some immunity before your body is exposed to the bacteria that causes tetanus” said Professor Martin.

Other risks include Hepatitis A, and soft tissue infections, which you should also seek immediate care for.

University of Kentucky has released a list of resources to help.

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