Expect rise in infections after hurricanes, flooding, infectious disease physician warns

There will likely be an increase across a number of infections in the wake of Hurricane Ian, infectious disease specialist Judy Stone, MD, wrote in an Oct. 4 piece published in Forbes

"We can expect to see a variety of infections following the disaster, in addition to the many problems from interruptions in an individual's medication (e.g., insulin, inhalers, cardiac medications)," Dr. Stone wrote. 

The prediction is based on what has happened after other major storms, such as Hurricane Maria in 2017. After that storm, sepsis infections and other infections rose. Skin and soft tissue infections will likely rise amid cleanup efforts, with people spending time in standing water, where common bacteria like Staph and Strep linger, according to Dr. Stone. Crowding in shelters could also lead to a jump in respiratory infections, including COVID-19, she said. With many areas still flooded in Florida, conditions are also ripe for gastrointestinal and animal-related infections to spread. 

Click here to read the full piece. 

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