Director of the BVI Red Cross Helen Frett announced at a press conference on 11 August that the heavy rains and flooding recently experienced by the Territory has created a risk for the spread of airborne illnesses.
An airborne disease is an illness that is caused by pathogens and is transmitted through the air. Mrs. Frett is urging residents to wear protective gears when outdoors to prevent becoming sick.
She announced, “I would just like to encourage persons to wear dust masks when you are out, during cleanup because the air right now is very polluted. The odour that is emanating now from the wet mud and the wet vents, sofas and those types of things can cause airborne diseases.”
“We want to encourage persons to wear their masks, and when you are going out to do clean up put on rubber boots,” the Red Cross Director added.
Airborne diseases are spread when droplets of pathogens are expelled into the air due to coughing, sneezing or talking. Airborne diseases of concern to emergency responders include: Meningitis, Chicken pox, Tuberculosis (TB), and Influenza.