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13 common diseases after floods


Flooding in Rio Grande do Sul could impact the health of residents

Since the beginning of May, the state of Rio Grande do Sul has been hit by heavy rains. The floods affected 461 municipalities and left more than 540,000 people homeless. The climate tragedy has generated the largest evacuation of homes in Brazil this century and, in addition to the immediate consequences for the population of Rio Grande do Sul, it is also expected to have long-term repercussions on public health in the state and the region, as highlighted by the Dr. Alexandre Pimenta, technical manager of the AmorSaúde network.




Subsequently, the doctor lists the main diseases characteristic of this post-flood scenario, as well as the symptoms of these pathologies, the warning signs, the diagnostic tests and the recommended treatment. Watch!

1. Acute diarrhea

  • Warning signs and symptoms: diarrhea liquid often accompanied by abdominal cramps, fever and general malaise.
  • Recommendations: maintain adequate hydration to prevent dehydration.
  • Treatment: oral or intravenous fluid replacement, avoiding foods that could worsen diarrhea and, in more serious cases, use of antidiarrheal drugs under medical supervision.
  • Diagnostic tests: parasitological examination of feces, total abdominal ultrasound, electrolytes, PCR (polymerase chain reaction), complete blood count, celiac serology (tissue IgA transglutaminase).

two. Typhus

  • Danger signs and symptoms: high fever, headache, muscle aches, diarrhea, and pink rash.
  • Recommendations: Seek medical attention when you experience persistent symptoms after the flood.
  • Treatment: appropriate antibiotics prescribed by a healthcare professional, rest and hydration.
  • Diagnostic tests: complete blood count, urine culture, stool culture, abdominal ultrasound.

3. Conjunctivitis and eye infections

  • Danger signs and symptoms: red eyes, eye discharge, itching and sensitivity to light.
  • Recommendations: avoid scratching yourself eyes and share personal items.
  • Treatment: washing your eyes with saline solution, using eye drops prescribed by your doctor and avoiding self-medication. Furthermore, in some cases topical antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and possibly surgery may be necessary.
  • Diagnostic tests: complete ophthalmological examination.

4. Skin mycoses

  • Danger signs and symptoms: red or white spots on the skin, intense itching and flaking.
  • Recommendations: keep your skin dry and clean, avoid sharing personal items and consult a doctor if the lesion persists.
  • Treatment: topical or oral antifungals prescribed by a dermatologist, in addition to hygiene and skin care measures.
  • Diagnostic tests: direct examination and culture of skin scrapings.

5. Anxiety and post-traumatic stress

  • Danger signs and symptoms: feelings of fear, nervousness, insomnia, flashback traumatic events, among others.
  • Recommendations: seek psychological support if necessary.
  • Treatment: psychological therapy, emotional support and, if necessary, prescription of psychotropic drugs under medical supervision.
  • Diagnostic tests: Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), Hamilton Anxiety Scale (HAM-A), Zung Anxiety Scale (ZAS), and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). 24 hour map, TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) and free t4.

6. Leptospirosis

  • Danger signs and symptoms: high fever, myalgia, abdominal pain, conjunctivitis, rash, respiratory symptoms, meningitis and renal failure.
  • Recommendations: if possible, avoid contact with mud and flood water; In cases of exposure, request medical assistance and report the exposure.
  • Treatment: seek medical attention for use of antibiotics such as doxycycline and penicillin.
  • Diagnostic tests: serology for antibody detection, blood and urine culture.


Hydration is one way to treat infectious gastroenteritis

7. Infectious gastroenteritis

  • Danger signs and symptoms: diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, fever, muscle pain and dehydration.
  • Recommendations: More serious complications, such as severe dehydration, significant electrolyte loss, and secondary infections, may occur in immunosuppressed patients.
  • Treatment: oral hydration with drinking water, rest and, in some cases, specific antibiotics.
  • Diagnostic tests: stool tests to detect infectious agents.

8. Dengue

  • Danger signs and symptoms: Sudden high fever, severe headache, muscle pain, retro-orbital pain, fatigue, weakness, nausea, abdominal pain, muscle pain, dehydration, vomiting, bleeding.
  • Recommendations: It is important to be aware of the warning signs and risk classification. Recommended water intake.
  • Treatment: rest, hydration and symptom control.
  • Diagnostic tests: Serological tests for the detection of antigens and antibodies.

9. Hepatitis A

  • Warning signs and symptoms: fatigue, fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, jaundice, dark urine, itchy skin, arthralgia.
  • Recommendations: calendar vaccination complete, if possible avoid contact with mud and flood water. In cases of exposure, request medical assistance and report the exposure.
  • Treatment: supportive care and rest, without specific antiviral therapy.
  • Diagnostic tests: measurement of liver enzymes and antibody tests.

10. Tetanus

  • Danger signs and symptoms: muscle stiffness, muscle spasms, respiratory symptoms, excessive sweating, fever, high blood pressure and tachycardia.
  • Recommendations: It is a serious and potentially fatal disease if left untreated and the best prevention is the vaccine. In case of exposure, seek medical attention.
  • Treatment: tetanus vaccine and tetanus immunoglobulin.
  • Diagnostic tests: diagnosis based on clinical history and physical examination.

11. Acute respiratory infections

  • Danger signs and symptoms: nasal congestion, runny nose, cough, sore throat, fever, headache, chills, sweating, lack of appetite, general malaise.
  • Recommendations: Proper hand hygiene is an extremely important control measure.
  • Treatment: Seek medical assistance for the use of antibiotics in selected cases and supportive care.
  • Diagnostic tests: clinical examination and examination of respiratory secretions.

12. Ear infections

  • Danger signs and symptoms: ear pain, fever, fluid drainage, difficulty hearing, feeling of pressure in the sense and irritability.
  • Recommendations: If left untreated, they can cause permanent damage to the middle and inner ear.
  • Treatment: seek medical assistance for the use of antibiotics, analgesics and local measures.
  • Diagnostic tests: otoscopic examination.

13. Contact dermatitis

  • Warning signs and symptoms: itching, erythema, edema, blistering, scaling or crusting, burning sensation, pain, rough skin and skin lesions.
  • Recommendations: THE correct hand hygiene This is an extremely important control measure.
  • Treatment: Avoid the causative agent, topical corticosteroids.
  • Diagnostic tests: diagnosis based on clinical history and physical examination.

By Milena Almeida

Source: Terra

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