Flooding Health Alert!
BUFFALO COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT URGES CAUTION DURING STORM AND FLOOD CLEANUP
[Alma-WI]- Buffalo County Health Department is urging local residents to protect themselves and their families following the storms and recent flooding in our area.
“Flood water may contain raw sewage or other harmful materials, including fertilizer, manure, gasoline, and pesticides,” says April Loeffler, Buffalo County Health Officer. “Humans and pets should not bathe, swim or drink from water affected by flooding.”
Private wells: A well under water is a contaminated well. Do not drink or bathe in water from a contaminated well. Instead, use water from a community water supply or bottled water. If these alternative sources are not available, boil well water for one minute at a rolling boil before use.
Once floodwaters have dropped, disinfect your well and test for contamination. Contact the Buffalo County Health Department, 608-685-4412 for information on where to get a water test kit.
Flooded basements should be handled with care:
Remove contaminated items that cannot be cleaned/ salvaged.
Items that cannot be washed and disinfected may have to be removed and disposed of if they were contaminated with sewage or flood waters. Examples include drywall, insulation, mattresses, carpeting and padding, rugs, upholstered furniture, etc.
When cleaning flooded areas, protect yourself by wear a mask, gloves, and boots. Once damaged materials have been removed, use a diluted bleach mixture (1 cup of bleach per 1 gallon of water) to clean all surfaces showing flood water contact or mold.
Keep your food safe: Any food that was touched by floodwaters - even canned food - should be thrown out. If the power went out, inspect refrigerated and frozen foods and "when in doubt, throw it out."
For more information about flood clean up refer to the Flood Toolkit.
2016 ZIKA VIRUS MOSQUITO STUDY RESULTS
No Zika-carrying mosquitos have been found in Buffalo County or Wisconsin, according to a 2016 study, but other disease-carrying mosquitos were identified.
Buffalo County was one of 20 Wisconsin counties which last summer participated in a study led by the UW Department of Entomology and the Wisconsin Division of Public Health. In each county, residents volunteered to set out traps on their property.
Check out the results below.
ZIKA VIRUS MOSQUITO STUDY
BUFFALO COUNTY PROMOTES PRIVATE WELL WATER TESTING WITH REDUCED RATE WATER TEST KITS
How safe is your well water? Buffalo County Public Health is making that question easier to answer, by offering water test kits at half price beginning March 1.
Each kit will test for bacteria, nitrates, and arsenic, the most common pollutants of Wisconsin’s private well water.
- Bacteria may cause diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea. When found, it could mean the water system is at risk for more serious forms of contamination, including E. coli.
- Nitrate exposure, either at high levels or for long periods, can be dangerous for people of all ages. During infancy, nitrates can lower the amount of oxygen in the blood (“blue baby syndrome”), which requires immediate medical attention. Over time, taking in high levels of nitrates also increases the risk of cancer.
- Consuming high levels of arsenic can cause a variety of skin problems, ranging from darkened skin and small warts to skin cancer. Arsenic also increases the risk for liver, bladder, and lung cancers; tremors; headaches; numbness; and lower IQ scores in children.
The discounted price of $30 will be offered on a limited first-come, first-served basis when kits are returned and applies to wells located in Buffalo County. Water test kits can be picked up at three locations: Buffalo County Department of Health and Human Services (Buffalo County Courthouse in Alma), Gilmanton G Mart (S877 State Road 88), and the Buffalo City Municipal Hall (245 E Tenth Street, Buffalo City). The completed test kit must be dropped off within 36 hours of testing to the Buffalo County Department of Health and Human Services between 8am to 4pm on Monday through Thursday (no Fridays). One kit will test for bacteria, nitrates, and arsenic.
Welcome to Your Level II Health DepartmentThe mission of Buffalo County Health Department is to prevent disease and injury, protect and promote health, and empower communities to live healthier lives.
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