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After the Flood Take Care of Your Health

by Francisco Renick, M.D. and María José Zamora, M.D.

After the heavy rains caused by tropical storm Thomas over the last week, the country's water infrastructure has been severely damaged, causing water sources to become contaminated. Nosara and the surrounding towns are not the exception and therefore, these safety and health-related guidelines should be followed:

  • Drinking water that has been contaminated with bacteria and parasites may seem clean to our eyes. The lack of drinking water may cause outbreaks of diarrhea that, if left untreated or without adequate rehydration, may be fatal, especially in small children and the elderly.
  • Remain alert, during floods or when rivers swell, water sources may become polluted with oil, gasoline or sewage.
  • Which water sources are safe for drinking? Bottled, boiled (most microorganisms are destroyed within 1 minute) or treated water (dissolve 6 drops of chlorine in one gallon of water, mix and let stand for at least 30 minutes).
  • Avoid making ice, washing dishes, fruits and vegetables, washing your teeth or cooking with contaminated water.
  • If you have been or are still experiencing no water service, once the service is restored continue boiling water for at least 5 days in order to avoid the harmful effects of stagnant water.
  • Wash all containers used for storing water with chlorinated water. Keep them covered at all times to avoid contamination and to prevent breeding sites for the dengue fever mosquito.
  • Always wash your hands with clean water and antibacterial soap before eating or handling food. 
  • After a flood, clean and disinfect all floors and surfaces that came in contact with floodwater. Also throw away any food that came in contact with it.

After a flood and when there is a shortage of drinking water, infectious disease outbreaks are very common, especially if proper hygiene measures are not followed or if large numbers of people must live together in shelters or closed areas. Protect your family by keeping your home and surroundings as clean as possible, wash your hands frequently and eat and drink food and water that you are certain is not contaminated; when in doubt, it is best to avoid them!


More Health News

Know your diabetes and take control
Diabetes screening in Nosara

On Monday November 15, the Pharmacy Nosara will be giving diabetes exams from 8 am-12 pm and 1 pm-7 pm. Any one of any age can receive the exam, child or adult.

Normally, the cost is ¢2,000-¢3,000, but during this time the charge will be ¢1,000, plus checking for high blood pressure. More >

Maca, Pollen and Spirulina: How Good are Superfoods?

Nowadays, it is common for people to add the so-called superfoods, or nutritional supplements, such as Maca, Spirulina or bee pollen to their food or smoothies since they are known for bringing great benefits to our health. Nosara and Samara have not escaped this trend and these are now commonly offered to complement meals and drinks. However, how good are they? More >



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