Flint,MI: It’s impossible to be clean without water!
It is without a doubt a heartbreeaking situation in the city of Flint, Michigan.
As a result of the ongoing water crisis, the city is now facing an aggressive outbreak of Shigellosis. The youngest diagnosis was that of a 17-month-old.
Shigellosis is a bacterial disease that results from repeatedly not washing hands. It can cause diaharrea, a heavy fever, and severe stomach pain. It is extremely contagious. There is no vaccine to prevent the disease but it can be avoided by washing the hands at key moments in the day. How can a 17-month-old be sure to wash their hands?
Back in 2014, the major body of water designated to provide drinking water to the citizens of the city was contaminated with lead. The lead poisioning gave residents rashes, fever, and some even lost their hair. Most of them will now have lead in their body for years. As filtering the water is far from a straightforward and quick process, the city now mostly lives off bottled water. Can you imagine, avoiding your sink and tub because the water is harmful? The Shigellosis is undoubtedly a factor because washing hands with bottled water isn’t always easy or effective. People are avoiding bathing.
Jim Henry, a Michigan health supervisor explained, “People aren’t bathing because they’re scared…Some people have mentioned that they’re not going to expose their children to the water again. They have begun relying on baby wipes, But baby wipes are not effective, they’re not chlorinated, it doesn’t kill the bacteria and it doesn’t replace handwashing…People have changed their behavior regarding personal hygiene. They’re scared.”
Its truly a perplexing and heartwrenching story. The area has suffered and will continue to suffer from the widespread of diseases that result from unhealthy water usuage. The question is how will the city overcome this mountain of an obstacle? Furthermore, will a elected official opt to look further into this situation? After all, we haven’t heard one Presidential candidate mention the devastation that Flint is STILL facing.
You can still help the residents of Flint by donating bottled water. It is also important that you support the research that spreads word about the situation.