Cleanup tips from health department
Due to the recent flooding events in Berkeley Springs, the Morgan County Health Department is providing several recommendations to citizens who have been exposed to the flood-waters.
The main concern is fecal matter from open sewer systems. Exposure to fecal matter carries the threat of Hepatitis A and Tetanus, both of which are serious diseases. All people who were exposed should contact their primary physician and/or the health department to see if they are up-to-date on these vaccines. If not, these vaccines are available from the health department.
Secondary concerns include molds and mildew that will develop due to moist conditions.
The best remedy is prevention. Clean areas affected by floodwaters with a bleach and water solution. Keep all areas as dry as possible by allowing air or fans to circulate in the wet area, as well as using dehumidifiers. Change air condition-ing filters frequently, as molds can develop on filters.
Flooding can increase the presence of insects, rodents, and even snakes. Residents should be on the watch for these and avoid or safely remove these pests.
A final concern deals with the absence of electricity to homes and businesses. Food stored in freezers and refrigerators can easily spoil in these hot, humid conditions. A general rule to follow is that any food item not in adequate temperature control for four or more hours should be thrown away. Items in freezers should have remained frozen to the touch, and if not, they should be discarded. The most important rule of food safety is “When in doubt, throw it out.” These measures will hopefully prevent foodbourne illnesses.
The Morgan County Health Department can be contacted at 304-258-1513 or 304-258-3617 for assistance.