The Acadian Region Office of Public Health has received reports that a subdivision in Vermilion Parish, Victoria Acres, flooded due to flood waters which were contaminated by an adjacent oxidation pond. These flood waters potentially contain raw sewage from the oxidation pond. Residents in this subdivision should adhere to the precautions below when re-entering their homes and during the cleanup process.

In addition, anyone affected by the recent flooding in the Acadiana area should be aware that flood waters are often contaminated with raw sewerage from sewer and septic system backup. There is a risk of contracting infectious gastrointestinal disease and skin infections from exposure to flood waters. Flood waters and the debris they carry must be considered contaminated with disease-producing organisms. Prompt removal of debris and cleanup is necessary, since the rodent and insect populations would otherwise
multiply rapidly and may act as vectors for disease.

Any individual involved in post-flood cleanup procedures should take the following precautions:

• Wash hands with soap and water after participating in flood cleanup and handling of flood contaminated articles.

• Wear protective clothing covering limbs, feet and hands while cleaning up debris, and rubber gloves while scrubbing flood damaged interiors and furniture.

• Workers in flood areas need protection against tetanus in case of injuries. A tetanus booster is recommended every ten years, after completion of their childhood immunization series. In the event of a penetrating wound injury, the risk of tetanus is increased, and a booster should be given as soon as possible if the injured person has not had a tetanus vaccine in the preceding five years.

• Due to the risk of injury and infection, never allow children to play in flood waters or flood damaged buildings.

• Dishes, pots and pans that have been covered by flood waters should be carefully washed and disinfected before use. Wash everything with hot, soapy water using a brush if necessary to remove dirt. Rinse everything thoroughly then disinfect by immersing for one minute in a chlorine solution made up of 4 tablespoons of liquid household bleach and 2 gallons of water.

• Items such as meat and poultry, prepared and processed foods, canned foods, medicines and cosmetics should be destroyed if they have been exposed to flood waters.