Beware of post-flood diseases

by NURUL SUHAIDI / pic courtesy of KPJ

MALAYSIA is experiencing a flood disaster, of which the aftermath could see a rise of infectious diseases among the public and flood victims.

KPJ Ampang Puteri Specialist Hospital Infectious Disease specialist Dr Muhamad Yazli Yuhana (picture) shed some light on flood diseases for the public to take precautionary practices.

According to Dr Muhamad Yazli, when exposed to flood water, one will be exposed to certain diseases which are easily spread during and after floods such as Leptospirosis — caused by rat urine — and Melioidosis —caused by underground germs.

“When a flood occurs, the soil will be contaminated and release Melioidosis germs that can infect us when the water recedes.

“Another disease is Typhoid Fever which is caused by unmanaged defecation movements,” he said in a statement yesterday.

He said usually, after two to three days of exposure to flood water, the victims may experience a fever — which reflects a sign of flood-related diseases.

Other symptoms also include diarrhoea, especially when one is exposed to Typhoid Fever or Typhoid bacteria.

Dr Muhamad Yazli also warned that victims may experience chills and difficulty breathing when exposed to Leptospirosis or Melioidosis. Abdominal pain and vomiting are also among other common symptoms involved.

As for preventive measures, he advised the public to not expose themselves too much to flooded areas and make adequate preparation upon receiving flood warnings in their areas.

“If you cannot avoid the flood, make sure you clean yourself thoroughly after being exposed to it. If you have an exposed wound, make sure the wound is patched or covered first,” he added.

He also reminded the public that it is best to make sure the house environment is clean before the flood as this could reduce the risk of disease-causing bacterias from developing.