Public Health Director provides health safety tips after flooding

Local News

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (ValleyCentral) — After the recent downpours that caused flooding and damage to properties and homes, a Brownsville health official offers safety tips on cleaning up.

Residents in Brownsville are cleaning up their homes after flood damage and the city’s public health director, Dr. Art Rodriguez said it is important to be safe when dealing with floodwaters and property that was exposed to it.

He said floodwater can be contaminated with unknown liquids and recommended if exposed, you should immediately shower, disinfect, sanitize, and change clothes.

Dr. Rodriguez said feet are most at risk, especially people who are diabetic because the skin can potentially be exposed to organisms that can get in your skin.

“Not only are there organisms out there, but there are also viruses, there’s also flesh-eating, bacteria and other things, try to be proactive in disinfecting so that you’re minimizing the risk of an infection,” said Dr. Rodriguez.

He said using rubber boots and gloves can keep you safe by creating a barrier between you and potentially contaminated floodwater.

The floodwater can also cause a health issue if property and homes are not sanitized properly, according to Dr. Rodriguez.

He said the water can contaminate carpets, walls, and furniture and recommends using a professional service to disinfect exposed property.

Dr. Rodriguez explained that tile floors and surfaces made of plastic or metal can be sanitized with household cleaners, but items made of wood should be fully dried to avoid issues with fungus.

“If you don’t thoroughly dry certain surfaces or clean up and they’re left unexposed, it can lead to air quality issues, especially if it’s an enclosed area,” said Dr. Rodriguez.

He said if floodwater enters your home and reaches any food items in a pantry, items that are not vacuum sealed or canned, should be disposed of to avoid health issues.

He explained the city of Brownsville uses larvacide and spraying to prevent infestations of mosquitoes after severe rains.

Dr. Rodriguez said the city needs the publics’ help and added residents can help with mosquito infestations by dumping out standing water and cutting tall grass as soon as possible.

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