For those working around the flood waters... and to those who will find water in their basement... you may end up spending time walking in it. And for some... getting their feet wet can create health concerns.
There's a lot of water... so it's easy to get your feet wet. But too much time in that water can be a problem. "People aren't going to notice it initially because they're doing things, and then they'll notice more so once they take their shoes off," said Nurse Sally McMahon. The concern for most people who trudge through flood waters... fungus. "Anytime your feet are wet like that, you're prone to getting a fungal infection, especially if the water's dirty," said McMahon. That could be any type of fungal infection... including athlete's foot.
But if you spend even longer in the water, there's another concern. It's called Trench Foot or Emersion Foot, and first came about during World War I. "It's when the feet are underwater for a long period of time, usually longer than about 11 hours, and the temperature of the water is below 60 degrees; it's when they start seeing problems with Trench Foot," said McMahon. Symptoms of trench foot include, a feeling of heaviness, tingling and numbness.
The best line of defense in any of these foot conditions... keep your feet dry. "And if they do get wet, and they've been wet for an extended period of time, just get them out of the water, wash them, let them air dry. Or if you have to be in the flood waters, change your socks a couple times a day," said McMahon. And if you're out in the flood water... wear boots that are tall enough that water won't get in.
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