Sunday 18 February, 2018

Health Ministry issues health guidelines after Tropical Storm

Flooded home in Caparo

Flooded home in Caparo

The Health Ministry is, at this time, advising the public to adhere to precautions on water and food safety, and protection from mosquito borne diseases.

Citizens are advised to boil all drinking water that may have come into contact with flood waters.

Purify the contaminated water by bringing it to a complete rolling boil and then leave it to boil for an extra five minutes.

Treat the water with regular household bleach that does not have added scents or dyes, adding the bleach according to the volume of water being treated - 2 drops of bleach to 1 litre of water, 8 drops of bleach to one gallon of water, 1 teaspoon of bleach to 5 gallons of water, 2 teaspoons of bleach to 50 gallons of water.

Mix the bleach into the water well, then cover and let stand 30 minutes before using.

Citizens are reminded to inspect food carefully to determine whether it came into contact with flood waters.

Open containers, packages and foods contained in bags, paper, cloth, fiber or cardboard boxes e.g. flour, cereal, rice even if the packages were sealed, should be discarded.

Canned food items should be safe for consumption but labels should be removed and disinfected thoroughly with a bleach solution before opening.

Citizens are also reminded that heavy rainfall and damage to homes can create ideal breeding sites for mosquitoes, leading to the spread of diseases such as Chikungunya, Dengue Fever and Zika.

Objects that have collected rain or flood water should be emptied and turned over, and water containers including barrels, drums and buckets should be covered with a mosquito proof covering.

Clear drains and guttering of leaves and other debris to allow the free flow of water, and empty and scrub the sides of water vases or use dirt or sand instead to support flowers.

Citizens are advised to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites by sleeping under mosquito nets, using insect repellent applied to the skin, or spraying insecticide indoors, and wearing long sleeved shirts and long pants.