Navigation Links
Health Risks Will Rise in Sandy's Wake, Experts Warn
Date:10/31/2012

By Amanda Gardner
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 31 (HealthDay News) -- The torrential rains and hurtling winds of "superstorm" Sandy are slowly passing through, along with some of the more acute health dangers such as falling trees and high flood waters.

But in the days, weeks and months to come, residents of the hardest hit areas will face myriad risks to their health, experts say.

Sandy, dubbed a post-tropical cyclone by the National Hurricane Center, swept through the U.S. Northeast on Monday and Tuesday, leaving entire towns under water and dozens dead.

Overall, an estimated 7.2 million people across the Northeast were without power Tuesday morning, including much of New York City.

First, experts say, there are short-term hazards. Residents struggling to return and re-establish themselves in the region can't afford to forget that water plus electricity can add up to lethal danger.

"Don't try to deal with electricity while any part of your body is touching water," urged Dr. Pavani Ram, associate professor of social and preventive medicine at the University at Buffalo's School of Public Health and Health Professions. "If you're standing in water, you shouldn't be trying to turn the electricity off or touch any kind of electrical appliance."

Then there's the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning from small generators, especially if the generators are placed in poorly ventilated areas such as a garage or basement, Ram added.

Longer-term dangers loom, as well. Ironically, all the water unleashed by Sandy could mean a shortage of clean drinking water. Residents need to be on the alert for water-related advisories from the health department or local water authority. Even in the absence of such alerts, they may want to stick to bottled or boiled water until they get more information.

People should also be careful about consuming perishable food, such as eggs or milk, that's been languishing in a refrigerator without power. "People are not going to do themselves any favors by getting sick in the midst of the crisis," Ram said.

Big storms can also boost concentrations of pollen and mold, two major allergy triggers, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI).

"Immunocompromised people and elderly people are probably at highest risk for complications from mold exposure and these are the people who should stay away from water-logged buildings, especially for prolonged periods of time," Ram said.

Still, allergies and asthma were not among the main problems following Hurricanes Katrina (2005) and Isaac (2012), said Dr. Joseph Guarisco, chief of emergency services at Ochsner Health System in New Orleans, who lived through both of those disasters.

Instead, his department saw scores of injuries stemming from recovery and clean-up efforts. This included electrical injuries, hand injuries, soft tissue injuries from falls and slips, eye injuries.

"We were inundated with recovery and clean-up injury-related illness more than anything for quite some time after the storm," Guarisco said. He advised that people wear protective gear during clean up and reconstruction and to stay away from power lines.

Elderly patients and those with chronic illnesses who depend on health care networks and on having medication suffered as well, Guarisco pointed out. "Those resources are disconnected [after a storm] and a lot of those patients have a tough time getting their basic needs met," Guarisco said. "They didn't take their medications. Their nutrition was bad and they became dehydrated."

More information

There's more about protecting yourself before and after major storms at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCES: Pavani Ram, M.D., associate professor, social and preventive medicine, University at Buffalo School of Public Health and Health Professions, Buffalo, N.Y.; Joseph Guarisco, M.D., chief of emergency services, Ochsner Health System, New Orleans, La.


'/>"/>
Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. You Survived Cancer: Now Pay Attention to Your Overall Health
2. NIH awards $20 million over 5 years to train next generation of global health researchers
3. Weill Cornell Medical College establishes Center for Healthcare Informatics and Policy
4. Esophageal Cancer Surgery Can Leave Lingering Health Problems, Study Says
5. Climate Change Could Be Tough on Seniors Health: Study
6. Supporting LGB children may influence their long-term health, BU study finds
7. U.S. Spends Too Little on Public Health Initiatives: Report
8. Optimal care of bariatric surgery patients vital for long-term health and well-being
9. Timing pregnancy an important health concern for women
10. Unique approach needed to accurately assess health of young adult cancer survivors
11. Social ties have mixed impact on encouraging healthy behaviors in low-income areas
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Health Risks Will Rise in Sandy's Wake, Experts Warn
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... May 04, 2016 , ... Hight-Doland Insurance Agency’s new community involvement ... with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Louisiana to help provide positive mentoring for ... , Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Louisiana has been helping to guide the ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... Island (PRWEB) , ... May 04, 2016 , ... ... in April 2016. SS&A teamed up with one of the top website design ... information portal contains informative legal articles related to the law firm's main practice ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... ... , ... Recognizing that lifestyle medicine is essential to health and healthcare, ... Katz, MD, MPH, president of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, as their first ... gratifying,” said Katz. “There is so much opportunity to add years to lives, and ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... May 04, 2016 , ... The ... that ex-supermodel Janice Dickinson needed following breast cancer surgery. In March 2016, the 61-year-old ... a type of breast cancer that occurs in the milk ducts, according to an ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin (PRWEB) , ... ... ... The OMNIFORCE collection delivers next-level compression and support for knees, ankles, and ... a great value. , Innovative 3D flat-bed manufacturing (opposed to ineffective circular ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/4/2016)... 2016 Research and ... Acute Myeloid Leukemia Market and Competitive Landscape ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160330/349511LOGO ... and Competitive Landscape Highlights 2016, provides comprehensive ... Acute Myeloid Leukemia epidemiology, Acute Myeloid Leukemia ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the ... Market Outlook 2020" report to their offering. ... technology has improved significantly in past years due to ... coming years. Many cancer drugs have been developed by ... also expected to be developed with its help. They ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... 3, 2016  While you may be familiar with watching a film or TV show in ... ultra-high-definition or 8MP in the Medical Industry.  Ampronix  is a renowned authorized reseller of the ... Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160502/362730 ... ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: