Residents and Volunteers Working in Flooded Areas Urged to Update Tetanus Shots,

Residents and Volunteers Working in Flooded Areas Urged to Update Tetanus Shots,
Take Health Precautions

As heavy rain is causing flooding in northeastern, eastern and other portions of Missouri, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) today urged Missourians who will be working in or near the flood waters to make sure their immunizations are up-to-date, especially for tetanus. “We want residents or volunteers who will be working around flood waters to make sure they are protected from tetanus infection,” said Jane Drummond, DHSS director. Anyone planning to help with the flood response should ask their health care provider to review their medical records and to request a tetanus booster shot if it has been more than 10 years since the last booster.

Tetanus shots may also be obtained from local public health agencies, clinics, and hospitals, but people should call first to confirm availability.

“In addition to checking on their tetanus boosters, people should take extra health and safety precautions when working in or around flood waters,” Drummond added. These include:

Wearing rubber gloves for extra protection against contamination.
Wearing a mask if you have any allergies or chronic lung conditions.
Washing your hands and exposed skin frequently.
Disinfecting or discarding any clothing or supplies used in floodwaters immediately after use.
Washing contaminated clothes separately from other garments.
Disinfecting everything floodwater or sewage has touched.
Associated audio with this story is available through the Missouri DHSS web site, under the news link: http://www.dhss.mo.gov/NewsAndPublicNotices/index.html