Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Flood waters are nasty; shots offered for protection

Posted By on Tue, Aug 13, 2013 at 1:30 PM

click to enlarge Portable toilet in flood. - J. ADRIAN STANLEY
  • J. Adrian Stanley
  • Portable toilet in flood.
Attention people living in the Fountain and Camp Creek watersheds: Get your babies, kids, dogs, and selves out of the creek!

Experts at the Coalition for the Upper South Platte want to remind you that flood waters that have recently ripped through the area carried all sorts of nasty crap into the waterways: damaged appliances leaking fluids, household cleaners, all those gross liquids people store in garages, sewage, diapers, porn, baggies of pot — you name it.

All of this presents a great opportunity to get a really bad infection or skin problem. This isn't a play area.

But for those who really can't avoid being exposed to the muck — because they're helping clean it up — El Paso County is offering safety guidelines (listed below) as well as free tetanus shots. And yes, I know shots hurt, but in this case they are probably a good idea.

El Paso County Public Health Providing Free Tetanus Vaccination Clinic in Manitou Springs

El Paso County, CO – El Paso County Public Health will provide a free tetanus vaccination clinic on Tuesday, August 13 for residents of Manitou Springs working on flood cleanup and debris removal.

The clinic will be at The Historic Community Congregational Church of Manitou Springs, 103 Pawnee Avenue, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., and vaccine will be given while supplies last.

Tetanus is a preventable disease that affects the body’s central nervous system. The bacteria that cause tetanus are usually found in soil, dust, and manure and enter the body through cuts or puncture wounds caused by contaminated objects, such as nails and splinters. During an emergency, tetanus is recommended for impacted residents or first responders who have not had a documented dose within the past five years.

In addition to tetanus vaccination, the following procedures will help keep people safe while cleaning up flood debris:
· Wear watertight boots with a steel toe and insole, gloves, long pants, and safety glasses during cleanup operations; sneakers are not recommended because they will not prevent punctures, bites, or crush injuries. Wear a hardhat if there is any danger of falling debris.
· Frequently wash hands with soap and clean, running water, especially before meals and before and after cleanup activities.
· Keep children away from debris and don’t allow them to play with toys or objects that have been in contact with floodwater and debris. 
For more information visit www.elpasocountyhealth.org.

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