Chennai floods: Doctors warn of epidemic

Chennai/New Delhi, Dec 4 (IANS) As the water level started receding in Chennai and three other districts in Tamil Nadu after many days of incessant rainfall, medical experts on Friday asked the people to take necessary precautions as chances of an epidemic loom large.

The doctors, who have been part of several disaster management’s medical team, have advised the people to maintain proper personal hygiene.

“The situation will become critical now and there are possibilities that diseases like cholera, diarrhea would spread and various types of infections would increase. The intake of safe and clean water at this time is very important to avoid any disease,” D.K. Sharma, medical superintendent and the head of medicine at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), told IANS.

Sharma said that mostly during floods, the stagnant water gets contaminated by bacteria and result in several types of severe skin infections including lupus, wound infections, dermatitis, conjunctivitis, and ear, nose and throat infections, blisters among several others.

Emphasising on boiling the water before drinking, Sharma said the people can also prefer coconut water or packed water to get the necessary minerals for the body.

“In several places where people depend on ground water, they can chlorinate the water to get rid of the bacterial contamination,” Sharma told IANS.

Meanwhile, the health ministry has prepared a list of doctors and healthcare workers, along with stocks of medicine.

“Tamil Nadu has a robust healthcare system, they do not need much support from the central government. However, we have compiled a list of doctors’ name and healthcare workers with necessary medicines if required in case of emergency,” C.K. Mishra, additional secretary in health ministry, told IANS.

“Apart from diarrhoea, cholera and infection, a lot of people who suffer from fear psychosis after witnessing the nature’s fury, which one can overcome in weeks,” Sunil Saxena, head of emergency medicine at RML Hospital, told IANS.

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