Mould-related health concerns predicted to spike in flood-affected areas

Mould-related health concerns predicted to spike in flood-affected areas

Victorian doctors and pharmacists are warning of a spike in mould-related health concerns as residents in multiple areas contend daily with flooding and home inundation as major weather and rising river levels continue.

Significant weather events such as those that have caused the flooding, also go hand in hand with higher relative humidity levels and warmer weather, and especially when paired with inundation, can quickly lead to substantial mould outbreaks.

Loddon Mallee health unit director, Bruce Bolam, explained, “obviously mould can lead to a lot of different skin problems, respiratory difficulties.”

He noted that mould should be cleaned with bleach, but urged people to seek assistance as needed.

“It’s important to get proper commercial advice on how to clean that out particularly if it gets in air conditioning systems,” Dr Bolam said.

“We strongly recommend people try to minimise contact with floodwater, wear boots, gloves, and in these situations good old soap and water is your friend.

One resident of Rochester, which the flooding has severely impacted, said he had mould growing on every wall of his home. Residents are advised to keep an eye out for respiratory irritation or congestion and be mindful of other flood-related health concerns, including gastroenteritis, mosquito-borne disease and asthma.

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