Residents still at risk

THE water off Tweed’s beaches is clearing as the cloud of silt washed to sea in recent rain settles, but there is still danger posed by hidden debris and infection from dirty water.

Northern NSW lifeguard co-ordinator Scott McCartney said he visited the Tweed earlier this week and the water was looking good, but advised care when entering the water in case of debris.

“There was definitely improvement yesterday, especially on the Tweed. At the high tide the water is nice and clear, but at the low tide, especially near river mouths, there is some debris and the water is still quite dirty. Overall it is cleaning up.”

Paul Corben, director of public health for the Northern New South Wales Local Health Network, said while floodwater could be contaminated with sewage and carry a range of viruses and parasites, the greatest risk was from bacterial infection of cuts and abrasions.

He said the most effective way of preventing infection was through washing hands after contact with flood-contaminated materials, by wearing gloves and avoiding contact between cuts and floodwater.

“No antibiotics or vaccinations are recommended for prevention of specific flood-related viral, bacterial or parasitic diseases,” Mr Corben said.



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