MS JIC News Release: Post Storm Health Precautions for Mold, Mildew and Tetanus

> Important Health Precautions to Take After the Storm
> The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) continues to monitor the health impacts of recent severe weather. Significant power outages, home repairs, and flooding can create dangerous and potentially life-threatening situations, even days after the storms have ended.
> Mississippi residents should take the following special precautions against health risks after the storm:
> Mold and Mildew
> Stagnant moisture can be an ideal source for mold growth – all it needs is a source of moisture, a place to grow, and food sources such as leaves,
> wood, paper or dirt. When airborne mold spores are present in large numbers, they can cause allergic reactions, asthma episodes, infections, and
> other respiratory problems for people. Exposure to high spore levels can cause the development of an allergy to the mold.
> If mold is a problem in your home, you need to clean up the mold and eliminate sources of moisture. Identify and correct the moisture source; clean, disinfect with bleach, then dry the moldy area; and then bag and dispose any material that has moldy residues, such as rags, paper, leaves or debris.
> The MSDH neither regulates nor tests for mold. You should contact a commercial environmental consulting firm for services related to mold.
> Boil Water Alerts
> Many public water systems in Mississippi are still under boil water notices. If your system is under a boil water alert:
> • Do not drink tap water.
> • Do not use ice made from recent tap water.
> • Do not use tap water to make drinks, juices, or fountain soft drinks.
> • Cook with tap water ONLY if food is boiled for at least one minute.
> • Wash dishes, fruits and vegetables in boiled water or water that has been disinfected with bleach. Using your home dishwasher is not recommended.
> • Brush your teeth with boiled or bottled water.
> • Wash your hands and bathe as usual. Bathing is safe as long as no water is swallowed.
> • Wash laundry as usual. Laundry washed in hot or cold water is safe.
> Bring water to a rolling boil for 1 minute to kill most organisms.
> Tetanus Information
> Tetanus vaccination is recommended if it’s been 10 years or more since your last tetanus vaccination (Tdap is the recommended vaccine). In the event of a puncture wound or wound contaminated with floodwater, individuals should consult a healthcare provider. Tetanus vaccinations are available at all county health departments.
> For more information, visit the MSDH website: or sign-up for Twitter and