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WHO Warns Of Water-Borne Disease Risk For Thailand Flood Victims

The WHO on Saturday said hundreds of thousands of flood victims in Thailand are at risk of water-borne diseases and infections, though no major outbreaks have been reported, Agence France-Presse reports. “The spread of communicable diseases such as diarrhea, respiratory illness and conjunctivitis among displaced flood victims in shelters was a key concern, the country’s WHO representative Maureen Birmingham told AFP,” adding, “Flood-affected people also faced an increased risk of skin fungal infections and leptospirosis, a bacterial infection spread through contaminated water,” according to the news service (10/23).

“Birmingham also warned people to take stricter precautionary measures to prevent drowning and other risks such as snake bites and electrocution,” Empowered News writes (10/24). “Three months of unusually heavy monsoon rains have inundated large swathes of the country, killing more than 350 people and forcing tens of thousands of families to seek refuge in evacuation centers,” AFP notes (10/23).