Libya, from tetanus to enterobacteria: the risks of the flood

Infectious disease specialist Andreoni: “The danger of fecal-oral microorganisms coming into contact with people is high”

“When natural events occur such as the flood in Libya, there is a high risk that fecal-oral microorganisms come into contact with people. This is because the breakdown of the sewer system leads to contamination between dark and clear water. So we are talking about enterobacteria, namely Escherichia, Salmonella and Shigella, which can end up in contact with children or fragile people. Mud and stagnant water, with animal carcasses and more, are the greatest dangers from a health point of view. Another disease that is always recalled when these tragedies occur is tetanus”. So to Adnkronos Salute Massimo Andreoni, scientific director of the Italian Society of Infectious and Tropical Diseases (Simit) and professor of Infectious Diseases at the Tor Vergata University of Rome.

“The tetanus bacillus – he points out – is present in the intestines of animals and is normally eliminated in the faeces. In these floods it persists in the soil and can contaminate it: a danger for the population”.