Floods Increase Physical, Mental Health Risks

Flooding increases many mental and physical health risks

Standing water, like the floods in Queensland, may bring a variety of water-borne diseases and illnesses to residents in direct contact.

Experts explain the number of diseases from mosquitoes, including dengue fever, Barmah Forest virus, and Ross River virus are all said to increase drastically due to the flooding.

Additionally, infections carried from rats are also said to spread.

Addressing immediate health concerns is a primary concern, especially as health care professionals are over-burdened.

Doctors explain a typical list of symptoms during a flood may include: skin infections, ear/throat infections, and tetanus. The primary reason illness and infection spread so quickly during a natural disaster is due to the close proximity people are with each other in evacuation centers and shelters.

Experts stress that water should not be consumed until told by professionals that it is safe to do so. People in Toowoomba, city experiencing flash flooding, do not notice the same risks as individuals in Queensland do.

Risks of cholera and typhoid are not significant as the water quality is usually high in Australia.

Mental health issues may arise as well, due to increases in stress and physical or emotional trauma. Experts suggest talking with those who are going through the disaster together as a temporary solution to improve mood.

Helping others and being extremely cautious with water are on the top of many to-do lists right now.