Flooding is devastating in every way; it affects infrastructure and property damage, causing loss of life and health-related consequences. As flooding becomes more common for more people living in an increasingly warming world, it is important to investigate the consequences on the human body. The most prevalent cause of the flooding is a natural catastrophe, affecting over two billion people between 1998 and 2017 and responsible for 44% of worldwide disasters. As climate change puts the world more susceptible to extreme weather events, more people are likely to experience the effects of flooding and its destruction, including serious health consequences.
How does a flood affect your health?
The health effects of natural disasters such as flooding are varied and can cascade and affect any person or population. Floods can have an immediate and lasting effect on the health of people, both directly as well as indirectly. Furthermore, the health of communities that have experienced flooding is jeopardized. Responders to disasters, health experts, critical service providers, and firms for water restoration in Cleveland can all be impacted. When natural disasters like floods occur, attention is paid to the financial impact, property damage, and human casualties. But, in many ways, these overlap with health issues.
Flooding can affect health services because of damaged infrastructure, a loss of health professionals, and an absence of access to medical care, which could delay care or treatment for those in need. The economic consequences or the loss of property and livelihoods resulting from a flooding catastrophe can result in financial insecurity, which can impact people’s mental health, not to mention the loss of loved family members. The most common health issues brought on by floods are outlined below.
In the event of flooding, diseases, and outbreaks can be major health issues. These may manifest as ailments caused by drinking water or coming in contact with contaminated water. Diarrhea, cholera, typhoid fever, and leptospirosis are examples. They can also be a vector-borne diseases transmitted by an intermediate species carrying the pathogen, such as mosquitoes. Dengue fever and malaria are two vector-borne illnesses that result from flooding. After the floodwaters have receded, the stagnant water in gardens, around the home, and even agricultural lands can serve as an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes, resulting in diseases like dengue and malaria. Feel free to check their website for further information on flood prevention.
Mental health issues that can arise later often are not considered and adequately studied compared to the immediate health consequences of flooding. As of now, it’s known that experiencing the aftermath of a flooding catastrophe may affect people for a long time after the event, often for many years. Depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), psychosis, and insomnia are all typical mental health problems that can arise following flooding. The clean-up, recovery, and rebuilding process can be stressful, especially if the government and the private sector do not properly manage the process.
There is no evidence to support this; undernutrition or malnutrition is yet another health hazard caused by flooding disasters; flood victims are known to consume less after or during flooding and often lose access to the normal food supply. Floods can also seriously disrupt the food chain, like agriculture. This can impact the quantity and quality of food, leading to food insecurity and malnutrition.
The warmer temperatures can trigger more precipitation, causing extreme weather conditions, causing flooding. Being prepared is vital in dealing with the health effects of flooding and mitigation strategies like emissions reductions. The health risks of flooding will only worsen unless the world takes decisive and swift action to combat climate change.