Hyderabad: The large scale urban flooding caused in the last few days in Hyderabad and other parts of the State has increased the risk of water and vector-borne diseases. Heavy showers invariably cause expansion in the number of habitats of vectors like mosquitoes.
The standing water from heavy rains, overflowing reservoirs and rivers tend to create breeding sites for mosquitoes. As a result, there is always a chance of the population dwelling nearby these breeding grounds getting exposed to Aedes aegypti and Anopheles mosquitoes that cause dengue and malaria respectively.
During flooding, there is an increased risk of infection of water-borne diseases contracted through direct contact with polluted waters, such as wound infections, dermatitis, and conjunctivitis, and ear, nose and throat infections. Also, diarrhoeal diseases, viral fevers, cold, jaundice and typhoid fever are some of the most common ailments that occur when people consume untreated water.
“We urge general public to ensure they consume only boiled drinking water. This is especially important for families that are directly impacted by flooding during the recent rains. At any cost, they should not consume stale food. The water should be boiled and food should be hot,” advises District Medical and Health Officer (DM&HO), Dr J Venkati.
Senior doctors said that during the initial spells of the rains, the flooding usually flush out the existing mosquito breeding grounds. However, at such places, standing water comes back when the floods recede after a day or two. “We urge people who suffer from fever, cold, cough, vomiting, diarrhoea, itching and other diseases to rush to the nearest urban primary health centre for treatment. We have ensured that all our health care workers are available and health centres are stocked adequately with drugs for such kind of ailments,” the DM&HO said.
Senior doctors said while the municipal officials make special arrangements to ensure quality of potable drinking water by doubling their efforts including increased water testing across the city, it is the individual families that must ensure the water, which is consumed is boiled again at home.
The office of the DM&HO, Hyderabad, has printed pamphlets and recorded special voice messages that are being shared across various social media platforms to inform the public on the importance of treating water and visiting the nearest health care facility to access treatment for water and vector-borne ailments.