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Post-Hurricane Dangers: Carbon Dioxide Poisoning, Cholera and Other Risks to Surviving After the Storm

Oct 11, 2016 04:00 AM EDT
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Hurricane Matthew causes 'catastrophic' damage in Haiti

The storm may have passed, but the dangers aren't over yet. After surviving the worst of the hurricane, people now need to ensure they survive the aftermath with risks that include injuries, sickness and death.

According to a report from NBC News, doctors say that the days following a terrible hurricane are crucial for people; this is the time they are most at risk.

"During the hurricane itself, very few people are coming in the door of the hospital," Dr. Stephen Viel, an emergency room physician at Halifax Health Medical Center, explained. "After a hurricane, there's really going to be injuries when people go out and start clearing debris, approaching power lines that may be down and trying to restore life to normal."

Destruction is the chief worry of people as they work together cleaning up their homes and surroundings. Because power is down, many turn to generators. But exercising extreme caution is necessary - this convenience may come with a price.

Viel warned, "Be careful about the generators. The biggest thing we worry about is carbon monoxide poisoning when someone runs a generator inside their house."

Fourteen people have already been treated with carbon monoxide poisoning in Jacksonville, Florida.

Read: Brace Yourselves, We are Approaching the Peak of Hurricane Season

Infectious diseases are also a big concern of doctors after a major hurricane because stagnant rainwater becomes prolific breeding grounds for mosquitoes. With Zika virus already recorded in the state of Florida, this is even more alarming.

Haiti, also devastatingly hit by Hurricane Matthew, is in even direr straits, a report from Miami Herald revealed. Port Salut's hospital hasn't registered a cholera patient in three whole months - a large victory in these shores - but on Sunday, they had six cholera patients and one death.

"With the hurricane, it's certain that in the coming days cholera will rise," Stevenson Desravines, a doctor at the Port-Salut hospital, said. "They don't have aqua tablets to treat the water."

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