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Stagnant waters in Emilia-Romagna, there is fear of a health emergency

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Stagnant waters in Emilia-Romagna, there is fear of a health emergency

The flood that hit Emilia-Romagna has generated a worrying health emergency due to the presence of waste e stagnant waters. In this context, it is important to understand the dangers that arise from this situation, such as infections from bacteria, viruses and mosquitoes. This article, aimed at an audience of beginners, aims to provide clear and accessible information on this issue, in order to adequately inform and allow readers to take the necessary precautions to protect their health.

Figure 1 – Emilia-Romagna health emergency, stagnant waters and hygienic-sanitary risks

Hygienic-Health risks from the flood

After a flood, standing water poses a serious risk to human health. It is possible that these waters are contaminated by sewer discharges, waste e animal carcasses, which increases the potential for transmitting infectious diseases. Therefore, it is essential to understand the risks to which you are exposed and to take appropriate preventive measures.

Immediate risks: infections and contamination

Contaminated water can transmit infections through several mechanisms. An immediate danger is the contact of contaminated water with wounds or grazes on the skin. In these situations, microorganisms such asEscherichia coli they can penetrate the wound, causing infections that require timely treatment. It is important to underline that even a simple laceration of the skin, deriving from a prolonged period of permanence in water, could allow the entry of spores of the Clostridium tetani, the bacterium responsible for tetanus. It is therefore advisable to take preventive measures, such as passive immunoprophylaxis against tetanus or the administration of the tetanus vaccine.

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Furthermore, it is essential to pay attention to the contact of contaminated water with the eyes, as it can cause infections of the conjunctiva. Even small amounts of water could cause gastroenteritis if swallowed. Consequently, it is recommended to protect the mouth with a mask or tissue during exposure to contaminated water.

Medium and long-term infection prevention

In addition to the immediate risks, it is also essential to consider the medium and long-term threats resulting from the flood. Among these, the main ones are represented by mosquitoesespecially from the species known as Tiger mosquito. These mosquitoes can carry various infections present in Emilia-Romagna, such as viruses chikungunya, dengue e zika.

Il professor Broccoli points out that the presence of stagnant water and a warm climate can favor the proliferation of tiger mosquito eggs and larvae. Therefore, it is important to take the following preventive measures:

  1. Carry out checks and samplings to evaluate the real risk of mosquito-borne infections.
  2. Wear light-colored clothing to reduce the attraction of mosquitoes.
  3. Avoid walking barefoot, especially in areas with standing water accumulation.
  4. Use repellents to protect yourself from mosquitoes and insecticides to eliminate the larvae.


The flood in Emilia-Romagna has generated a significant health emergency, with hygienic-sanitary risks linked to the presence of waste and stagnant water. It is essential to understand the dangers and take appropriate preventive measures to protect your health. Correct information, compliance with the guidelines of the competent health authorities and the advice of a medical professional are essential to best deal with this situation.


  • Competent health authorities and official guidelines. Links
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