The Ministry of Health urges members of the public to take the necessary steps to avoid the health risks associated with flooding. Flood waters may carry silt, raw sewage and bacteria that can contaminate food and water.
General Guidelines to Avoid Post-flood Diseases
Avoid contact with potentially contaminated water (e.g. streams, rivers and ponds) and other flooded areas, especially if you have cuts or abrasions of the skin.
- If working in areas that may be prone to flooding, wear protective clothing such as gloves, boots, aprons, and eye protection to avoid contamination.
- If you have come into contact with flood waters or flood-contaminated items, ensure you properly wash and sanitise yourself and all clothing and equipment used.
Inspect food carefully to determine if it may have come into contact with flood waters. Dispose of fresh fruits, vegetables, fish and meat that may have come into contact with flood waters.
- Discard food in open containers and packages and consumable goods in bags, paper, cloth, fibre or cardboard boxes, e.g. flour, cereal and rice (even if the packages were sealed).
- Canned food items may be safe for consumption, but persons are advised to remove labels and disinfect cans thoroughly with a bleach solution before opening. But if you have any doubts, please throw them out.
Only drink water that is confirmed to be safe. If bottled water is unavailable, bring your water to a rolling boil for at least one minute and allow it to cool in a clean container before use. You can also add 1/8 teaspoon (or eight medicine drops) of unscented household liquid bleach for each gallon of water, stir well and allow to stand for 30 minutes before consuming. Store water in clean, covered containers.