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Health Advisory Following the Heavy Rains

By: , November 18, 2023

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The Ministry of Health & Wellness wishes to advise of the following precautions to take following the passage of the rain associated with Cyclone number 22:

GOING OUTSIDE

• Do not go outside until necessary.
• Wear water boots or closed shoes when going outdoors.
• Wear gloves when clearing debris or disposing of dirty water.
• If you get a puncture wound, such as a nail stick or a cut, and you have not been immunized in the last 10 years, seek medical attention immediately.

For Children:

• Do not allow them to play in the water outside.
• Ensure that bleach, kerosene and other harmful chemicals are properly labeled and kept out of the reach of children.

WHEN RETURNING HOME

• Continue listening to the radio for information and instructions.
• Use extreme caution when entering buildings (structures may have been damaged or weakened.
• Do not take lanterns, torches or any kind of flame into a damaged building. There may be leaking gas or other flammable materials present. Use battery-operated flashlights for light.
• If you smell leaking gas, turn off the main gas valve at the meter.

o Do not turn on lights—they can produce sparks that will ignite the gas.
o Leave the house immediately and notify the Gas Company or police.
o Do not re-enter the house until all odor of gas is gone.

• Notify the power company or fire department if you see fallen or damaged electrical wires.
• If appliances are wet, turn off the main electrical power switch in your home before you unplug them. Dry out appliances, wall switches and sockets before you plug them in again—call utility companies for guidance.
• Check food and water supplies for contamination and spoilage before using them.
• Wear sturdy shoes when walking through debris or broken glass and use heavy gloves when removing debris.

CONTROLLING THE SPREAD OF INFECTION

Viruses are transmitted through droplets that are circulated primarily when a person sneezes and coughs.

To reduce the spread of infection:

• Cover nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing to reduce the spread of droplets and therefore infection.
• Observe good hand cleansing practices.
• Hands should be washed regularly with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be used.
• It is important that the hand sanitizer is not used to replace hand washing. The recommendation is that after three uses of the hand sanitizer, the hands should be washed with soap and water.

MOSQUITO & RODENT CONTROL

Conditions immediately after a disaster are likely to cause a rapid increase in the population of insects and rodents.

This is due to collections of large water bodies and debris in the environment.

Some tips to minimize this are:

• All garbage should be properly bagged, tied and stored until collected.
• Punch holes in the bottom of tins to avoid water collection and dispose of containers as soon as possible.
• Cover tightly all drums, barrels, tanks, and buckets that are storing water for use. If container cannot be covered, pour cooking oil to cover the surface of the water.
• Get rid of all old tyres, tins, bottles, plastic containers, coconut shells and anything in which rainwater can settle.

For further information, please contact the Ministry of Health & Wellness’ Emergency Operations Centre at 888-ONE-LOVE (888-663-5683).

Last Updated: November 18, 2023

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