Water in flood-stricken areas under constant control: health official

April 9, 2019

TEHRAN- Water quality in areas hit by the flood is constantly being examined and water chlorination has also started, announced the director of Communicable Diseases Department at the Ministry of Health. 

Following heavy rainfalls in the country particularly in provinces of Golestan, Mazandaran, Lorestan, and Khuzestan as well as other provinces in western, southwestern, and northeastern Iran severe flood struck many cities and villages.

According to Mohammad Mahdi Guya, controlling the communicable diseases that are transmitted through water and food in flood-stricken areas is the Health Ministry’s main concern and it is the most important and difficult task they need to face in such areas, IRIB reported on Sunday. 
To this end, he said, urban and rural water and wastewater organizations in damaged areas need to cooperate with the Health Ministry. 

“Another worry is about the spread of Leishmaniasis, especially in Golestan, Lorestan and Khuzestan provinces, but we have taken measures for controlling rodents and insects in these areas.”
“Despite the problems and hurdles in the way of Health Ministry to control the health conditions in such areas; fortunately, no case of communicable diseases has been reported yet. However, we should not take this for granted and we need to stay alert in coming days and weeks so that the spread of infectious diseases are controlled,” said Guya. 

“Flood can cause different infectious diseases in different provinces, so the Health Ministry and the universities of Medical Sciences have come up with different plans for different areas,” he further noted. 

Worries over Polio and Leishmaniasis
According to Guya, Polio vaccination for children under the age of five has started in temporary camps in all provinces hit by the flood and the process has already ended in some provinces so there should be no worries about the spread of Polio.
“Another worry is about the spread of Leishmaniasis, especially in Golestan, Lorestan and Khuzestan provinces. We have taken measures for controlling rodents and insects in these areas. Furthermore, some guidelines have been prepared which will be put into practice in time,” he added. 
Guya further expressed hope that the spread of Leishmaniasis can be prevented in flood-stricken areas as the Health Ministry already has the experience of  successfully controlling the disease over Kermanshah earthquake [in November 2017].

Bites and stings by venomous animals
According to Guya, measures have been taken for the prevention and treatment of bites and stings by venomous animals such as snakes and scorpions. 
“All the medical teams located in the area have now received the snake and scorpion antivenoms and experts are sent to the areas as well. Luckily, no case of death by bites and stings has been reported yet,” he said. 

He further noted that injuries by wild animals such as dogs have been reported in some provinces such as Golestan, but all have been treated with vaccines and antivenoms. 

SJ/MQ/MG

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