Another Death from a Bacterial Infection Incurred During Post-Disaster Cleanup

It seems as the weeks go on, news reports surface of the dangers of yet another bacterial strain.  The latest is the death of a man who was cleaning up his North Carolina yard following Hurricane Florence.  Apparently the man sustained some scrapes or cuts in the cleanup process, which resulted in an infection. Heroic efforts were made to treat the infection, including amputation of his affected leg, but sadly he succumbed to the affliction and died.  (Click here to read the news article.)

And while here in Washington State we are not in danger of hurricane-related problems, it does raise the issue of just how dangerous exposure to bacteria can be.  Some bacteria can be inhaled, others are ingested, but the most common bacterial infections result in the same way this one did – from cuts or scrapes.  Bacteria then enter the bloodstream directly.  And while some are relatively harmless or slow-acting, others – like this one – spread quickly and are often fatal.

A second complicating factor here is the spread of contaminants via floodwaters, in this case from a severe tropical storm.  But water-borne bacteria can occur from such things as a septic system backup, a sewer main break, or even substantial rainfall that causes brief flooding.

As a biohazard cleanup company, we cannot over-stress the importance of wearing proper protective clothing when doing any type of cleanup where there is the slightest possibility of exposure to bacteria and other toxins.

When you are doing cleanup of a property, NEVER assume the contents are safe to deal with.  Pathogens are often unseen, and in a moment you can become exposed to something that can threaten your life. Instead, ALWAYS assume it is contaminated with toxins and act accordingly.  The safest (and wisest) thing may be to hire a toxic substance cleanup company like ours to handle things.

Our biohazard cleanup teams have been trained in the safe handling of potentially toxic substances, where protective gear, and follow set protocols for disposal of debris. If you’re faced with cleanup of your property following damage from water that may have been contaminated, please give us a call.  We offer biohazard cleanup and damage restoration services in the State of Washington and surrounding Pacific Northwest areas.



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