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Health Department: Get A Tetanus Shot Before Flood Cleanup - LEX18.com | Continuous News and StormTracker Weather

Health Department: Get A Tetanus Shot Before Flood Cleanup

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CLARK COUNTY, IN (WAVE) - Warnings from health officials came along with the flood water and cleanup efforts this week.

Health departments in Indiana and Kentucky urged people to get a tetanus shot before beginning any cleanup efforts. 

Flood water is filled with germs, debris and bacteria that can make people sick. Metal, glass and other sharp objects floating in the water can cause cuts.

Combined with the dirty water, wounds could become infected with the serious disease.

"It's all about being proactive and preventative. You may not even know you have an injury because your adrenaline was pumping, you were walking through the water, you're worried about somebody falling and you're worried about your family. Get the vaccination, it is the right thing to do," Clark County Health Officer Dr. Eric Yazel said.

The Clark County Health Department held five tetanus shot clinics in Jeffersonville, Utica and Charlestown, Indiana between Wednesday and Saturday. 

The Indiana State Department of Health donated 200 vaccines for free, which were distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis to walk-ins. 

Health officials had a list of recommendations to avoid injury and prevent infection during flood cleanup:

  • Wash often with soap and water
  • Wear protective clothing: hard-soled shoes, long pants, long-sleeved shirts and heavy work gloves.
  • Take care of any wounds immediately by:
    • Washing your hands 
    • Cleaning the wound with soap and water 
    • Patting the wound dry and applying a clean, dry dressing
    • Consulting with your doctor to see if you need any additional care
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