Dr Gerry Waldron, Health Protection Consultant for the PHA, said: “When flooding occurs the risk of contracting any illness is generally low. However, as it is not always clear whether water is contaminated or not, the safest approach is for people to assume that flood water is contaminated.”
Dr Waldron continued: “You can take a number of precautions to prevent health problems if you have experienced a flooding incident:
• Wherever possible try to avoid coming into direct contact with flood water
• Do not let children play in flood water
• Use rubber gloves when cleaning up
• Wash hands after being in contact with flood water, sewage or anything contaminated by these
• Wash children’s hands regularly
• Clean toys that have been in flood water with disinfectant
• Cover cuts or open sores
• Don’t eat any food that has been in contact with flood water
• Clean all surfaces with disinfectant before any food is placed on them
• Contact your GP if you or a relative develops a stomach upset following flooding.”
If flooding occurs in your local area contact the Flooding Incident Helpline on 0300 2000 100 immediately. This service is available 24 hours a day every day of the year.
For more information please contact the PHA press office on 028 9031 1611.