Communicable diseases detected in flood-hit areas
Črna na Koroškem, 10 August - The National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) has recorded cases of communicable diseases in the Meža Valley in the north in the wake of devastating flooding, warning of a potential spread.
"We have been detecting cases since Tuesday evening and we can expect the number of cases to spread in the coming days," the regional unit of the NIJZ in Ravne na Koroškem has told the STA.
The unit's head Neda Hudopisk said about a dozen cases of vomiting and diarrhea had been reported. There have been no severe cases requiring hospitalisation, but some patients were dehydrated.
Hudopisk believes there are more cases because not everyone sees a doctor.
Parts of the northern Koroška region are still without water supply or water needs boiling to make it safe, which entails risks to public health.
The vomiting and diarrhea cases have been detected in the municipalities along the Meža River, most in Črna na Koroškem, the town at the epicentre of flooding. The clusters are isolated for the time being.
As an additional precautionary measure, soldiers have been door to door in Črna delivering sanitisers and bottled water and informing people about safety measures. The locals will also get leaflets.
It is not clear yet what caused the diseases, but potential risks include contaminated tap water, contaminated food, contact with contaminated debris, poor sanitary conditions and such.
The NIJZ urged following preventive measures in the given situation, advising the locals to use bottled or boiled water for consumption, brushing their teeth, and washing fruits and vegetables.
They are also advised to shower from the neck down to prevent water coming into contact with their face and mouth. They should also wash and sanitise their hands when preparing food.
The debris deposited by water should be handled with gloves.