Infections from rancid flood water on the rise as mold grows and mozzies reach 'plague proportions'

Infections from rancid flood water on the rise as mold grows and mozzies reach ‘plague proportions’

Doctors and pharmacists are warning of a sharp increase in skin infections and mosquito-borne diseases in cities where people have to wade through stagnant and rancid water on a daily basis.

In Rochester, central Victoria, pharmacist Brett Phillips said more patients were suffering skin infections and dermatitis requiring treatment after open sores were exposed to contaminated water.

“Flood water is a terrible thing – it has germs and is full of chemicals,” he said.

“We’ve had people running around all day in wellies with their feet in a terrible mess and getting infected.

“The city of Rochester is going to be out of business for a while – it’s going to be a long, hard battle for everyone.”

A man walks through knee-deep floodwaters in Echuca, about 30 kilometers north of Rochester.(ABC News: Gavin Coote)

Echuca pharmacist Kathy Kostoglou said many of her patients had blisters and sores on their feet from the constant rubbing of wet shoes, as well as sore backs and necks.

“They’re exhausted,” she said.

“It’s in their faces, their eyes, their speech.

“That expectation has caused people a lot of anxiety … people don’t sleep, so they want to have a sleep aid.”

“My guess is that the chiropractors will have a huge job ahead of them – they will all be physically and mentally exhausted.”

Dark mold on the window frame.
Mold is just one of the challenges residents face as a result of the flooding.(ABC News: Jack Fisher)

Mold, gastro and mozzies

Warm and humid weather in central Victoria and the North East has also exacerbated mold growth in homes.

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