Floods bring sickness, warns health chief

national August 02, 2018 13:58

By The Nation

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People living in flood-affected provinces have been warned of waterborne illnesses, including pink eye (conjunctivitis), leptospirosis and diarrhoea, as well as three common threats from snake and insects, parasites and drowning.



The Department of Disease Control (DDC) director-general Dr Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoenchai on Thursday warned the public of three groups of waterborne illnesses: respiratory conditions such as flu and pneumonia; illnesses from food and water such as food poisoning and diarrhoea; and the conditions from standing floodwater, such as pink eye, leptospirosis and dengue fever.

He said patients from the three groups were usually on the rise during the rainy season.

Suwannachai also warned of snakebites and insect stings and parasites such as Strongyloides stercoralis (threadworm).

The DDC's Bureau of Epidemiology on July 30 reported 74,793 flu patients (10 of whom had died), 145,476 pneumonia patients (105 of whom died), 1,262 leptospirosis patients (10 of whom died), 37,793 dengue fever patients (45 of whom died), 751,539 diarrhoea patients (six of whom died), 72,487 food-poisoning patients and 53,701 pink-eye patients.

More than 100 people suffered from snake and insect bites while there were 42 deaths by drowning as of April.

Suwannachai urged people not to throw garbage into the water or discharge waste into floodwater and not to let children play in water unsupervised as they may drown or get infections from dirty water or be bitten.

He advised people to eat clean and cooked food and to wear protective boots when wading through floodwater.

The DDC hotline is 1422.

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