A week after floodwaters inundated Saint Clair, Waseca and other south-central Minnesota communities, an infectious disease expert with Mayo Clinic Health Systems is reminding flood victims of precautions to protect their health. Jessica Sheehy says there’s risk of infection or chemical contamination. “They’ve had some issues in Saint Clair with the sewage backup, so there may be various chemicals in that,” she says. “We want to make sure we really do well with washing our hands.”
Sheehy also advises anyone with cuts, scrapes, and scratches from cleanup efforts to make sure they don’t get infected by keeping wounds bandaged and dry. Sheehy adds anyone affected by flooding or participating in the cleanup effort who doesn’t feel well should contact their doctor. Standing water can also be a breeding ground for mosquitos, and she suggests anyone working outside protect themselves with insect repellant.