June 12, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Epidemiologists sound the alarm about the consequences of floods


Epidemiologists are sounding the alarm about the serious public health impacts of the floods and warning of the possibility of an outbreak of several diseases such as typhus, cholera, gastroenteritis, malaria and West Nile virus in flooded areas due to the high number of drowned animals and flood waters entering the sewer system , as well as washed-out cemeteries.

Residents of flooded areas in Magnesia, Thessaly and Phthiotis have been warned.

Epidemiology professor Theodora Psalthopoulou expressed concern about the epidemiological consequences of Cyclone Daniel for public health.

“The consequences of flooding can be direct or indirect, short-term or long-term,” she said in an interview with state broadcaster ERT.

The epidemiology professor also mentioned the trapped people who, after two almost 24-hour breaks, could face serious problems.

“The short-term impacts include people being unable to have drinking water, food, electricity, heating, refrigeration, being unable to get to primary and secondary health care if problems arise, and collapsing groundwater levels.”

Angry residents of flood-hit Palamas protested against the regional governor (video)

As for possible risks to public health, he estimates that residents of the flooded areas of Magnesia, Thessaly, Phthiotis may face problems associated with malaria, gastrointestinal, respiratory and dermatological problems.

“They need more serious intervention.”noted the professor of epidemiology, pointing to the need for immediate provision of safe water and food.

Speaking about water quality, she emphasized that control over water supply and water chlorination is necessary. “These events, coupled with the animal deaths, create a significant short-term public health problem in the region,” – he said.

She added that, according to World Health Organization requirements, there should be enough standardized packaged water and food in the region.

Anargyros Mariolis from the University of Athens, speaking on Alpha TV, mentioned the possible dangers and advised residents of areas affected by bad weather to drink bottled water.

“The water is contaminated. It can cause acute diarrhea syndrome, cause acute hepatitis, mainly type A in vulnerable age groups and type E in pregnant women. We can have leptospirosis and it can become endemic, especially after a flood, because it increases number of rodents. We do not turn on the drinking water tap”– Mariolis emphasized…”

Sakis Arnautoglu about floods and their consequences

“We will also have a huge problem with increasing number of mosquitoesan example is the West Nile virus” he said, warning of gastrointestinal infections, respiratory infections, wound contamination and skin diseases.

He noted that residents should expect “water disinfection mainly through chlorination and restoration of the water supply network.” Wells in the area need to be tested first so we can better treat the water at the sites.”

Many were also mentioned cemeteries washed out by floodswhich can become sources epidemics of cholera, typhoid and other serious diseases.



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