Warning over contaminated waters

Furniture floats around as floodwaters enter a home at Corindi.
Furniture floats around as floodwaters enter a home at Corindi. Leisa Quay

WITH most of the floodwaters around the Clarence Valley now gone, residents are being urged to take precautions against infection while cleaning up in the aftermath.

A NSW Police and Emergency Services spokesperson said floodwaters can become contaminated with sewage which may carry a range of bacteria, viruses and parasites and said the greatest risk of infection was through cuts and abrasions.

As a result residents in flood-affected areas should treat all floodwaters as contaminated and take steps to protect themselves from infection (see below).

The spokesperson said children were also particularly vulnerable to some forms of infection and should be kept away from floodwaters and residual mud - also, children's toys which have been contaminated with floodwater should either be discarded if they are soft or plush toys or thoroughly disinfected if solid.

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Tips to avoid infection

  • Thoroughly wash hands after contact with flood-contaminated materials.
  • Wear boots and gloves
  • Cover cuts and abrasions if working around floodwater
  • If you do cut yourself with a floodwater-contaminated item, check with your GP as to whether you require a tetanus shot.

Topics:  clarence valley floods natural disaster water weather

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