Flood Related Information & Resources

Fears that filthy water from floods could trigger a health crisis are largely unfounded in industrialized nations.

Flood water may contain dangerous bacteria from mixing with raw human sewage (particularly in urban areas), but this is unlikely to trigger disease outbreaks. There is no risk from serious infections such as typhoid and cholera in flood water in this state because these diseases are not present in the general population in Louisiana. Although harmful micro-organisms in flood water are very diluted and present a low risk, there are precautions to be aware of. 

People are advised to avoid direct contact with the flood water as a precautionary measure. Children should not be allowed to play in floodwaters. The main risk of disease comes from drinking floodwater.  

If you have swallowed some floodwater:  You probably will not be sick at all. There is no need to seek immediate treatment. However, if you were to have diarrhea or any other gastro-intestinal illness, seek medical care.

If you have been in contact with flood water: Wading or having hands in the flood water carry a minimal risk of infection. After exposure to flood waters, wash with soap and water after getting out of the area. If contact was extensive, a shower is recommended. Simple soap is sufficient; there is no need for an antibacterial soap.

Any open wound exposed to flood water needs to be disinfected and treated appropriately.

Immunizations after exposure to flood water

No special immunizations are necessary. Experience and studies from previous serious national floods demonstrate that increased risk or incidence of tetanus, typhoid fever or hepatitis A has not occurred. Recommendations for these immunizations are the same as during non-flood conditions.

Tetanus - A booster for tetanus should be given to anyone sustaining an injury (particularly lacerations and puncture wounds) that has not received a vaccination within the last 10 years, 5 years for particularly major or unclean wounds.

Flood and Mold Cleanup

Flood Safety Resources

Private Water Well Safety