Residents who will be working in flood clean-up following the July 2017 flood should be sure they are protected against tetanus, in addition to protecting wounds from infection. Tetanus is a disease contracted by getting the tetanus bacteria into an open cut or wound. Although tetanus is rare, it can be very serious or even fatal.  Tetanus immunization is available at the Marshall County Health Department.

In addition to immunization, it is important to protect yourself and your family.  Avoid exposure to flood waters if you have an open wound.  Cover open wounds with a waterproof bandage.  Keep open wounds as clean as possible by washing well with soap and clean water.  If a wound develops redness, swelling, or drainage, seek immediate medical attention.

While working in flood clean-up, keep hands away from mouth and face.  Wear protective clothing (rubber boots, rubber gloves and eye protection).  Wash hands often using clean water and soap.

It is important to remember that clothing and some furniture and household furnishings can be salvaged by cleaning and disinfecting. However, residents should discard whatever item cannot be cleaned and dried. Mattresses, for an example, should be discarded.

The use of potentially contaminated food, household products, medicines and cosmetics that have been exposed to flood waters may pose a threat to your health.  When in doubt, throw it out.

Boil Water Advisories are common during flood events.  As Boil Water Advisories are issued by local water systems, they will be posted online at www.wvdhhr.org/oehs.

Unsafe use of generators and grills can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.  It is important to remember to never use generators and charcoal or gas grills inside your home, in basements, in garages, or other enclosed spaces due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Residents should not operate these appliances near an open window or window air conditioner which may allow fumes to enter the home.

CO is an odorless, colorless, poisonous gas that can cause sudden illness and death if present in sufficient concentration in the ambient air. The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and altered mental status. Get fresh air immediately and call 911 if you suspect that you or a family member has carbon monoxide poisoning.

Contact the Marshall County Health Department at 304-845-7840 for more information.