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AM: Health watchdog warns of disease risks due to floods

Disease transmission is one of the problems that come with flooding of rivers in the north of the country. According to the latest Amazonas Civil Defense report released this week, 22 municipalities in the state are in surplus; 20 in an emergency, three on alert and eight in attention phase due to rising rivers.

The Amazonas Health Surveillance Foundation is warning of the risk of disease transmission, although some indications are showing a decrease in the number of infected people compared to last year.

The foundation’s director of infectious diseases, Alexandru Melo, explains that the agency monitors it to prevent diseases like diarrhea and hepatitis A, for example. According to the director, more than 1.5 million vials of hypochlorite, a substance used to treat water for human consumption, have already been donated. Alexandru Melo also highlighted the dangers of animal-borne diseases.

It should be noted that care must also be taken to avoid diseases at the time the water begins to decline. The Health Surveillance Foundation of Amazonas issues an alert: Residents should be alert while cleaning dwellings, to the presence of poisonous animals.

On Friday, the National Secretary for Civil Defense and Protection, Colonel Alexander Lucas, and technicians from the Ministry of Regional Development arrived in Manaus to support the response measures to the floods that have occurred in recent weeks.

According to monitoring by the federal government, the hydrographic basins of the Negro, Solimões and Amazonas River represent a critical situation that may reach higher than expected levels. The water level in Río Negro in Manaus, for example, is close to the level recorded in 2012, when a historic flood occurred.

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The Ministry of Regional Development reported that it has already transferred R $ 14 million to take measures to combat the effects of floods in eleven municipalities.