On today’s show, we bring together the team to discuss what kinds of threats and illnesses responders might be exposed to during a disaster deployment or experience after returning from a deployment to a disaster zone. Dr. Joe Holley talks with the rest of the team, including co-hosts Jamie Davis and Sam Bradley, plus our disaster weather expert Kyle Nelson.
Infectious Diseases & Disaster Deployment
Joe talks about how the toxic soup that major floodwaters contain carries all sorts of infectious disease sources. Dengue, Chikungunya, Zika, and other insect-borne illnesses are common in the weeks after major storms in the south. The large areas of sitting water tend to be ready breeding grounds for mosquitoes in these areas.
Kyle brings up questions about self-treating or prophylactically treating yourself with antibiotics. Joe points out that the broad variety of unusual bacteria likely to be found in flood waters require special attention to which drugs are used to treat infections.
Most of the illnesses seen by responders tend to be rashes and other skin issues related to exposure to things mold, chemicals, and other irritants stirred up by the storm and flood waters. Joe points out that there are things you can do to protect yourself and to make sure you aren’t doing things that negatively impact your immune system. Maintaining hydration and mitigating the exertion stress of rescue activities will help alleviate some of these concerns.
Disaster Never Sleeps, Neither Do We
We will be bringing you more special updates from our Disaster Podcast team members as we get them in from around the world.
Paragon Brings “The Experience”
Paragon Medical Education Group specializes in bringing what they call “The Experience” to jurisdictions around the country. They bring together police, fire, EMS, and hospital teams to train together and learn what to expect from each diverse group in the response team so that each knows what to expect from the other and how to back the other groups up. Visit Paragon’s site at ParagonMedicalGroup.com for more information on how this can be brought into your system.