Villagers warned of post-flooding contagious diseases

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NONTHABURI, 10 December 2016 (NNT) – Provincial Public Health Offices have been instructed by the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) to prevent leptospirosis and conjunctivitis which might possibly follow flooding and to advise villagers to wear boots to keep off dirty water.

Villagers warned of post-flooding contagious diseases

MOPH Permanent Secretary Sopon Mekthon said the flooding in the southern region might possibly cause leptospirosis and the Provincial Public Health Offices are yet to watch out for the people who might be infected from a direct skin contact with contaminated water or bacteria through open wounds or soft skins.

All areas in the southern region are now under the 15-day watch-out period for possible infection of the disease after the floodwater has subsided.

The public health officials are also preventing a spread of conjunctivitis which could possibly be infected from dirty water in the eyes or close contacts with patients.

Symptoms of conjunctivitis include redness and irritations in the eye, excessive tears, eye wax and the swelling around the eye. The disease can be prevented through good hygienic practices such as washing hands frequently, isolating patients and their personal items from others and keeping off insects.

Patients with conjunctivitis are advised not to buy and apply any medicine by themselves but to seek immediate medical treatment and refrain from bathing in any shared water sources to prevent an outbreak.

The general public in flooded areas are being informed of other possible infections commonly found during and after flooding such as diarrhea and flu.

According to the Bureau of Epidemiology, a total of 2,083 leptospirosis patients were found in Thailand from 1 January to 4 December 2016. Of that number, 610 resided in the southern region with 14 fatalities. The number of conjunctivitis patients from 1 January to 6 December 2016 totaled 117,331 persons, 12,890 of whom residing in the southern region.