NewsExperts: No more risk of epidemics in flood areas

Experts: No more risk of epidemics in flood areas

About six weeks after the flood in the Ahr valley, there is now the all-clear regarding a risk of epidemics. Experts see no signs that this fear has been confirmed.

Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler – Fears of epidemics in the flood-damaged Ahr valley with 133 fatalities have not been confirmed, according to experts.

Corpses of people and animals, faeces, heating oil, pesticides and much more were washed through the river valley on the night of the catastrophe on July 15 by the flood after extremely heavy rain.

The chairman of the Federal Association of Doctors in the Public Health Service, Ute Teichert, told the German Press Agency: “I feared epidemics. There were also indications of diarrheal diseases, for example, but fortunately not of real epidemics. ”The President of the Rhineland-Palatinate Medical Association, Günther Mattheis, also emphasized:“ I am not aware of any epidemics. ”

Teichert, who headed the health department in the flood-affected Ahrweiler district until 2012, added that it was good that many residents in mobile medical practices were quickly vaccinated against tetanus. In the case of minor injuries when gutting flood-damaged houses, for example, bacteria can penetrate the wounds and cause tetanus, i.e. tetanus.

Teichert, Mattheis and the head of the crisis team, Thomas Linnertz, all spoke of a gradual return to regular health care in the Ahr Valley. Some doctors with destroyed practices have moved to other rooms, for example from public administrations. The Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler hospital, pharmacies and ambulance stations have long been back to normal operations. Corona vaccinations also continued.

In Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler, Deutsche Bahn and the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (KV) Rhineland-Palatinate will operate another mobile doctor’s practice until the end of September. The doctors and their teams on the bus save many residents long journeys. For example, they treat wounds, write prescriptions and vaccinate against tetanus and hepatitis. A KV spokesman said: “The bus is very well received.”

The reconstruction of numerous rehabilitation and other specialist clinics, some of which have been massively damaged, for which the spa town of Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler is known, is likely to take years. Association chief Teichert said: “There are over 20 clinics here. Their location, often directly on the Ahr, has been fatal for some of them. ”Some have switched to outpatient offers. dpa

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