After heavy flooding in Xerém, Brazil a little over a year ago, Health Secretary Sergio Cortes did a careful survey in the heaviest hit, the city of Duque de Caxias, in Xerém. His investigation after the flooding of the city’s infrastructure, especially around clean drinking water was thorough. He had all the water supplies to the city’s emergency shelters tested. The results were alarming to Dr. Cortes. Tests had found the dangerous water-borne bacteria, leptospirosis, in the taps! After Sergio Cortes recommended that more safe bottled drinking water be brought to the shelters, he issued a public message requiring everyone to only drink bottled water.
Dr. Cortes caused even more bottles of water to be trucked in. This was the great result of his advice to Health Minister Camillo Junqueira. The Minister ordered several more loads to be distributed to all the shelters to cover all needs for hygiene and cooking. Warnings were issued to the public to be careful to disinfect any water, other than bottled water, for the limited future.
The flooding was quite heavy after torrential rains brought the city to a stand-still. As he spoke with flood victims and learned of their immediate needs, he took notes which he later relayed to the health authorities on the scene. He also toured the areas around all of Xerém, which is in the Brazilian state of Rio de Janeiro.
With Cortes’ advisement, the Health Minister upped the number of instant antibiotic injects to over 3,000 units. The good doctor’s main concern with the flood waters causing such biological chaos is contractions of the diseases dengue fever and hepatitis A. He is lesser concerned with, but still planned to educate people, about the possibility of cases of chicken pox and meningitis. These Centers can rehydrate up to 300 flood victims per day. You can read more about Dr. Sergio Cortes during the flood. You can also read Dr. Cortes LinkedIn Shares, and be sure to follow Dr. Sergio Cortes on Twitter.