Houston: a public health nightmare

Photo Credit: kozorog / Getty
Source article by JESSICA FIRGER, MotherJones.com

This story was originally published by Newsweek and appears in MotherJones.com (source below) as part of their Climate Desk collaboration.

Firger’s well written report spells out the impending dangers of Houston’s water supply: contamination of drinking water as supplies mix with stagnant water.

Stagnant water is a breeding ground for all sorts of microscopic pathogens. Pritish Tosh, an infectious diseases physician and researcher at the Mayo Clinic, says hurricane floodwaters may be contaminated with pathogenic Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria that can cause serious gastrointestinal illness. Other bacterium found in floodwaters include Shigella, which can also cause gastrointestinal illness in the form of diarrhea, vomiting, fever, stomach pain and dehydration.

No reliable potable water means, according to Figer’s report, a rise in likelihood of bacterial-caused gastrointestinal diseases, mosquito-born viruses and even Legionaire’s disease. The mess in Houston and other areas severely affected by Hurricane Harvey flood waters, in essence, is far from over.
Thank you, Jessica Firger and MotherJones.com, and those who brought us the story from its first appearance in Newsweek, for good reporting on a most important issue still facing Houston and other parts of the south where flood waters are just now receding.
Source: If things weren’t already bad enough, Houston is about to face a public health nightmare

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