Avoid floodwaters to prevent injury, illness, Oklahoma health officials say

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Near 150th and Morgan Rd. in NW OKC

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Health officials are reminding Oklahomans of the dangers that come with floodwater and standing water.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health says floodwaters have potential hazards such as downed power lines, household trash, medical waste, large debris, human and livestock waste, industrial chemicals, rodents and snakes.

Officials say exposure to contaminated water can cause wound infections, stomach illness, skin rash, tetanus and other illnesses.

Here are some tips to follow if you do come into contact with floodwater during evacuation or cleanup:

  • Wear rubber boots, rubber gloves, and goggles.
  • Wash skin with soap and clean water as soon as possible. If soap and water are unavailable, use alcohol-based wipes or sanitizer.
  • Take care of wounds and seek medical attention if a foreign object such as wood or metal is embedded in the wound. Watch for signs of infection such as redness, swelling, draining, or developing a fever.
  • Wash clothes contaminated with floodwater in hot water and detergent before reusing them.
  • Do not allow children to play in floodwater, or play with toys that have been contaminated by floodwater and have not been disinfected.

Never drive into flooded areas and always turn around, don’t drown.

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