Thailand Flooding: Threat of Disease New Concern for 110,000 Stranded

Thailand is currently facing devastating floods, which the country has not been exposed to in decades. With such heavy flooding outside of Bangkok, concerns are abounding about the effect that flooding will have on the health of citizens in and around the city.

The floods have thus far killed 381 people, mostly children, and have left nearly 110,000 stranded.

It appears as though the flooding will be subsiding, however, concerns abound about sanitation and water and insect-borne diseases that occur in such saturated conditions. The diseases that can emerge following heavy flooding include diarrhea, dengue fever, and malaria.

Bangkok’s central region has avoided a large part of the devastating flooding, however, in some parts of the outskirts of the city water remains waist high and people have been submerged under the floods for up to two weeks.

Matthew Cochrane of the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent told CNN, “Outside the city it is certainly a humanitarian crisis, because there are people who have been cut off for weeks without any aid, supplies or food.”

 “The water in those parts is a filthy black color containing sewage, garbage and dead animals with a nasty smell,” Igor Prahin, a resident of Bangkok told CNN.

Prahin added, “Mosquitoes are also breeding rapidly.”

Several crocodile farms have also been flooded releasing the dangerous animals, leading to concerns by locals that the loose crocodiles will hurt people.

Nobody has been hurt yet, however, residents fear that an attack from one of the freed crocodiles is merely looming.

Thailand’s Prime Minister, Yingluck Shinawatra, has told reporters that the peak tides have passed through the region and Bangkok will avoid the worst of the floods.

Nevertheless, the sanitation and health effects of the flooding are likely to continue even after the water subsides.

The historical flooding came as a result of heavy monsoon rains that persisted for three months while tides remained unusually high, thus causing the worst flooding the country has experienced in 60 years.