State health officials are urging Hoosiers to use caution during the cleanup of their flood-damaged homes because dangers remain even after the floodwaters recede.
Although homeowners are often tempted to begin cleaning out their homes and salvaging possessions as soon as possible, officials say it's wise to wait until floodwaters fully recede.
Jennifer Dunlap is a spokeswoman for the state Department of Health. She says pools of water inside and outside flooded homes can harbor waterborne diseases and pathogens such as E. coli bacteria that floodwaters swept out of swamped septic systems.
Because a small cut or scratch can make people more susceptible to diseases like tetanus -- an acute, often fatal, disease -- Dunlap recommends that people in flooded areas make sure they are up-to-date on their tetanus immunizations.