Published: 18 February 2014

Surrey academics offer flooding health advice

Molecular microbiologist Dr Simon Park and Nadine Page, Tutor in Mental Health, warn of the long-term impact of flooding on health.

While flood waters may be receding, Surrey academics have advised that the risk of ill health as a result of the flooding is rising.

Dr Simon Park, Senior Lecturer in Molecular Microbiology, said: "The water for the most part will have been in contact with sewage. Because of that, there is a potential for having pathogenic bacteria in there, things like Salmonella, norovirus and E-coli.

"The risk increases the longer the water is present. Stagnant water which has been in contact with land, rubbish and sewage is going to be hugely fertile for bacteria to grow.”

His advice is to wash hands regularly and prepare food in a safe environment.

Nadine Page, Tutor in Mental Health, advises people affected by the flooding to talk about their stresses, anxieties and problems with friends and family, and to share with others who are going through the same thing, as the power of camaraderie can bring relief.

She said: “We've had the flooding, but the rain and wind has been relentless as well. As a result, it has taken a long time for things like roofs to be fixed, and for the person going through that it can be really difficult."

Learn more about Biosciences and Medicine and Health Sciences at Surrey.

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