Detroit has once again started to cut of the water supplies of those people who fail to pay their utility bills.
Whilst I no way endorse that certain people should be ‘let off’ with paying their utility bills, it’s a known medical fact that those without a clean water supply are more susceptible to disease and that contagious diseases spread far faster without decent sanitation.
You only have to look at countries where there is no clean water supply to see what I mean. Typhoid, cholera, typhus and a myriad of other diseases are rampant in these areas.
Illnesses that we are far more familiar with in the West, such as enteroviruses, norovirus etc spread with alarming ease when access to clean water is denied. Most gastrointestinal upsets are spread by poor hand hygiene and having a major metropolitan area where so many people do not have the ability to wash their hands regularly is asking for trouble.
There will, by necessity be an increase in those people dumping raw sewage, and you can bet your life that not everyone will do so responsibly. Rats and vermin will increase, as will diseases such as leptospirosis which is usually associated with fresh water but is carried by a sizeable proportion of the rodent population. Rodents are incontinent and the spirochetes that cause leptospirosis are excreted in their urine.
I have no idea what the answer is, but an answer does need to be found before Detroit becomes the epicentre for outbreaks of disease that could easily disseminate across the United States.
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Contributed by Lizzie Bennett of Underground Medic.
Lizzie Bennett retired from her job as a senior operating department practitioner in the UK earlier this year. Her field was trauma and accident and emergency and she has served on major catastrophe teams around the UK. Lizzie publishes Underground Medic on the topic of preparedness.