Public Health Advisory for Rainy Season

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Floods in Guyana. [File pic 2018]

In light of the increased rainfall and the possibility of flooding in coastal and outlying areas,
as we also respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Ministry of Public Health is advising the
general public to pay special attention to your health, special precautions, personal
hygiene, vector control, food and water safety and general public health.

The Ministry advises:
 That if you are living in flood prone areas and there is any flooding, stay out of the
water as much as possible, as it can greatly reduce your chances of contracting
diseases such as skin infections, Leptospirosis, Diarrhea and other water-borne
diseases. Direct contact with flood waters can expose you to several germs that can
lead to any of these diseases. Keep children out of the water as they are most at risk
of contractingdiseases. Avoid swimming in flooded canals and trenches. During the
rainy season and floods these become contaminated and can make you sick.

 During the rainy season, respiratory infection including COVID-19 and other respiratory
condition can occur and may become worse. Be extra cautious with all hygiene
measures and ensure that you cover your cough. Daily intake of fruits and vegetable
high in vitamin C can help to maintain a healthy immune system and enhance your
ability to fight infection.

 If you must venture into any area with flood waters, use protective gear such as long
boots, gloves and eye protection. Prepare a foot bath of ½ cup of bleach to one bucket
of water and wash your feet before entering the house. Apply Vaseline or oil to your
skin as it forms a barrier and provides some protection from the dirty water.

 During rainfall you may notice an increase in mosquitoes. Protect yourself and family
against mosquitoes by sleeping under mosquito nets, use mosquito repellents and
coils. Ensure that all water stored around your homes incontainersis covered to
reduce the breeding of mosquitoes. Remember, the mosquito that spreads Zika,
Dengue and Chikungunya virus breeds in fresh still water (especially rain water)
around your home.

 Use safe water for drinking, cooking, brushing your teeth,making ice and beverages.
Safe water is water that is treated with chlorine bleach (add 1/2 teaspoon to 5
gallons bucket of water, cover and let the water stand for 30 minutes before using );
water boiled for at least 5 minutes, cool and store in covered containersor sealed
bottled water.

 Keep food supplies away from contact with any flood water. Flood water can
contaminate food supplies including dry groceries, vegetables, fruits, cooked foods
and beverages.Discard all foods that have been in contact with flood waters safely by
placing in a plastic bag and deposit in covered bins.

 Wash all fruits and vegetables with treated safe water and peel before eating.
Remember to keep all food items and drinking water in covered containers.

 Cook food thoroughly and consume cooked meals within two hours of preparation.
Store all remaining food safely in a refrigerator and reheat thoroughly before
consuming.

 Wash hands thoroughly with soap and safe water or use hand sanitizers, especially
before eating meals, after going to the toilet or latrine, cleaning children or handling
animals and contaminated materials.

 Use the safe toilets or latrines to defecate and dispose of baby’s diapers in your
covered bins. Do not mess or let feces get into the flood waters, drains or trenches.

 Secure of all household waste and other garbage in plastic bags and store in bins until
these are properly removed to approved landfill sites. Keep garbage bins covered to
prevent pests such as mosquitoes, flies, rats and roaches from entering. Do not dump
garbage in drains, trenches, canals and illegal dumping areas around your
community.

 Watch out for animals coming into your homes. Rats, roaches, snakes, centipedes and
other pests that have been flooded out of their homes may seek shelter in yours. Keep
doors and windows closed or screened to prevent them from entering your homes.

 Turn off the main electrical switch and unplug all appliances and move them to safe
areas of your homes if your home is under water. If you suspect electrical wiring have
been damaged in your home, turn off the main and have it checked by a qualified
person before turning on back the power.

 Secure all important equipment, supplies, medicines, clothing and other items in safe
spaces in your homes. Place important documents and valuables in plastic and store
them in a safe place.

 Remember to continue to observer social distancing of at least 6ft away from others
and all the other prevention measures such as washing your hands, covering your
nose and mouth while in public with a face mask or cloth cover and observe the
curfew.

 If you or any family member experiences any fever, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea,
skin rash, cuts, sticks, bruises or other conditions, please seek medical attention
immediately. Call the national or regional hot-lines or contact your nearest health
care facility or health provider for guidance on obtaining all the essential services
you may need.

For more information call:

Ministry of Public Health on Telephone Numbers: 226-1224 or 225-1263 or COVID-19 Hot Line Numbers: 180/181