VDH urges caution following recent heavy rains in parts of Virginia

VDH provides several safety tips

Dozens evacuated from apartment as flooding begins in Lynchburg.

After some areas of Virginia got hit hard with heavy rain, the state’s Department of Health is reminding people to take precautions.

VDH reports that once the sun comes out, there are potential health risks to be mindful of if you’re planning to swim, wade, kayak or go rafting in Virginia’s natural waters anytime soon.

Following heavy rain periods, bacteria, debris and other pollutants in rainwater runoff end up in rivers, lakes and streams, which can pose risks to your health and safety, according to VDH.

The most common illnesses from contaminated water are gastrointestinal illnesses, which are caused by swallowing water contaminated by disease-causing microbiological organisms. The illnesses could lead to vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain or a fever.

Additionally, contact with contaminated water could cause upper respiratory and skin infections.

VDH recommends the following safety tips:

  • Avoid getting water in your mouth. Never swallow water from an untreated water source.
  • Don’t swim if you have broken skin. Bacteria, viruses and other organisms can infect wounds causing more serious illness.
  • Shower with soap and water after recreating in natural waters.
  • Don’t swim when you are ill.
  • Avoid swimming if dead fish are present.
  • Use extreme caution and avoid unnecessary risks if you encounter covered roads or fast-moving waters. The water may be deeper and moving faster than you think.

About the Author:

Jazmine Otey joined the 10 News team in February 2021.