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Flood Water Is Not Bath Water

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Torrential rain and flooding is nothing new in Thailand.  Right now, we are in the annual “wet” season.

Reminiscent of the United Kingdom’s King Canute who ordered the tide to go out, the Thai parliament has instructed administrative, military and police officers to better prepare for flooding in all regions of the country this wet season.  The call went out following severe flooding around the capital Bangkok.

Tropical Cyclone PODUL’s passage over the north and north-east of Thailand caused flash floods and landslides.  Flood waters reached three meters in parts of Khon Kaen Province, while three dykes in Roi Et Province have collapsed, flooding residential areas, and farmlands.

Authorities have been instructed to prepare for the prevention and containment of torrential waters, landslides and flooding in major provinces and to help victims promptly and reduce risks of damage to property and danger to lives.

This procedure is carried out by better flood preparation, to keep people and businesses safe.  The government’s Decision Support System is programmed to extract data according to the simulation period, checking the range, rate of change and missing data.  It then submits a daily data quality assurance report.

This will help local public health units to prevent flood-related epidemics including dengue fever, which has produced almost 100 deaths this year.  However, Dengue is not the only medical ailment related to flooding.  Floods can potentially increase the transmission of water-borne communicable diseases, such as typhoid fever, cholera, leptospirosis and hepatitis A and E.  Vector-borne diseases, such as malaria, dengue hemorrhagic fever, and West Nile Fever also spread during the wet seasons.

What to do?  Do not wade in flood waters, clean wounds promptly and seeking help sooner will lower your chances of infection of wounds, skin rashes, gastrointestinal illnesses and the communicable diseases.


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