The waters of North Carolina have been contaminated. There is a potential of acquiring the bacterial infection Vibriosis from ocean water, brackish waters of the Intracoastal Water Way, rivers, and free-standing water in yards and homes. Tetanus spores thrive in this environment and insect associated infections become more frequent.
After a discussion with the New Hanover Health Department, Masonboro Urgent Care wishes to share these recommendations:
Working with potentially contaminated waters
1.) Tetanus Vaccination Update:
a. You need a tetanus shot if you are not positive that you have had a tetanus shot within 5 years.
b. If you have a dirty or wet wound or broken skin, we recommend a tetanus shot if you are not positive that you have had one within 2 years.
2.) Hepatitis A and B
a. Vaccinate with combo vaccine series if unvaccinated.
b. Vaccinate with Hepatitis A, if previously vaccinated against Hep B.
c. These vaccines can be obtained at the NHC Health Department with no appointment necessary, and some drug stores.
a. Decontaminate skin frequently and at the end of the day with antibacterial soap such as Dial soap.
b. Decontaminate ANY broken skin immediately with antibacterial soap and seek medical attention for cuts and puncture wounds for antibiotic prophylaxis.
c. Decontaminate equipment frequently and at the end of the day with antibacterial agent.
4.) Skin Checks:
a. Do skin checks for ANY broken skin frequently and the end of the day.
b. Circle all broken skin with black marker. Cover while working in water. Check this area frequently and at the end of the day. Seek medical attention for antibiotic prophylaxis.
c. If redness or swelling spreads outside of the ink mark, seek medical attention immediately. If spread is happening quickly, go straight to the ER. Death or serious illness can occur within 24 to 48 hours of becoming ill.
5.) Diarrhea: seek medical attention for diarrhea.
Working Outdoors in General: Tick infestation is more problematic after storms. These ticks may carry tick-borne illnesses
6.) Tick Checks:
a. Use insect repellent
b. Do skin checks for ticks frequently and at the end of the day.
c. If a tick bite is discovered, seek medical attention for rash or illness.
7.) Mosquito Bites:
a. Use insect repellent
b. Seek medical attention for illness.
8.) Pneumonia Prophylaxis Vaccination for those with chronic respiratory disease if not vaccinated.
New Hanover County Health Department, 910-789-6531