Flood 2016

Health precautions urged for those working in flood-impacted areas

A desk space is fit in to the lab area at the Linn County Public Health building in Cedar Rapids on Monday, Jan. 11, 2016. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)
A desk space is fit in to the lab area at the Linn County Public Health building in Cedar Rapids on Monday, Jan. 11, 2016. (Liz Martin/The Gazette)

Health officials say those who plan to help with flood cleanup efforts should protect themselves against tetanus and other possible illnesses.

Here’s the text of a news release from Linn County Public Health:

As efforts are underway in Linn County to prepare for significant flooding, Linn County Public Health is urging residents in and around flooded areas to take precautions to help prevent disease and stay safe.

Individuals injured while working in floodwater are at an increased risk for tetanus infection. Tetanus is an infection caused by bacteria that can get into the body through broken skin, typically through injuries from contaminated objects. Exposure to floodwaters alone does not increase the risk of tetanus. Individuals do not need a tetanus booster due to being exposed to floodwater.

Residents who are injured in floodwater and received a tetanus vaccine more than five years ago should seek proper medical treatment and have their tetanus immunization status reviewed. Vaccinations are available at the Linn County Public Health. Please call 319-892-6093 for questions or to schedule an appointment.

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