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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thailand : Health warnings stepped up

Via The Nation :

" Main concerns are uncollected garbage and leptospirosis

Health hazards are becoming a major concern as contamination of floodwater caused mainly by uncollected garbage is widespread - while warnings against waterborne zoonoses [diseases transferred from animals to humans] and food poisoning have been issued.

The Public Health Ministry's Department of Medical Sciences yesterday warned of possible leptospirosis in flooded areas and against consuming ice and iced drinks from unknown production sources. In a recent survey, 21 food samples, collected in four flooded provinces including Bangkok, yielded food poisoning manifestations, while 17 out of 57 samples of drinking water possessed germs which caused diarrhoea.

The minister reported one leptospirosis case in Khon Kaen and 20 suspected cases. The bacterial disease, which is found usually in flooded areas up to three weeks after a flood recedes, is potentially fatal if not properly treated.

In Bangkok, residents are encouraged to sort and separate rubbish, with decaying foodstuff and materials tightly sealed, as only 30 per cent of daily garbage can now be collected while more than 100 garbage trucks are undergoing modification to enable them to travel through high water.

As Bangkok governor Sukhumbhand Paribatra admitted, an understaffing problem has resulted in increasing garbage accumulation. District offices are hiring contractors to collect up to 70 per cent of garbage during flooding, while boats are being used to collect rubbish in badly flooded areas."

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