Health concerns left in Harvey's wake

Dr. Winifred Hamilton with Baylor College of Medicine talks about some of the biggest health concerns after Hurricane Harvey.

HOUSTON - After Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, officials are encouraging Houston-area residents to take steps to protect your health.

Being exposed to floodwaters can be very dangerous. Local health officials are urging people to get tetanus shots.

In a water-logged home, mold can run rampant.

There are ways you can protect your health if your home has suffered damage after Hurricane Harvey.

"You need to have personal protective equipment," said Dr. Winifred Hamilton with Baylor College of Medicine. "We're worried about respiratory infections -- they tend to go up. Anybody who has asthma or is immune compromised should probably avoid going into the house altogether."

Dr. Hamilton reminds residents whose homes were built before 1978 may have lead and asbestos, which can be exposed while ripping out walls.

Anyone experiencing any symptoms is encouraged to see their doctor, Dr. Hamilton said.

American Red Cross officials confirmed Monday about 20 percent of volunteers in Houston have contracted a gastrointestinal bug, which is common during close-quarter contact situations, especially in floods. They encourage basic hand washing to combat this problem.

Red Cross officials say volunteers can work from rooms if needed, and volunteer nurses are also on staff if needed.

The Red Cross is offering $400 through its immediate assistance program. For more information, tap/click here.

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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