Tests reveal extremely toxic floodwater in Houston after Hurricane Harvey
HOUSTON, TX — Some of the flooding left behind by Hurricane Harvey is now making people sick.
The New York Times reports it had the high water in two Houston neighborhoods tested.
One site had levels of e-coli that were 135 times what is considered safe.
Elevated levels of lead, arsenic and other heavy metals were also found.
Some of the highest levels are being found in water inside homes.
Experts say the conditions are ideal for bacteria to grow because it’s warmer inside homes and the water has been stagnate for days.
The Environmental Protection Agency said on Monday that 40 of 1,219 such plants in the area were not working.
Hospital workers say more people are showing up with skin infections, which can be treated with antibiotics.
Dr. Beau Briese, an emergency room physician at Houston Methodist Hospital, told the Times he has seen a doubling in the number of cases of cellulitis (reddened skin infections) since the storm. He said the infections had been successfully treated with antibiotics.
Dr. David Persse, the chief medical officer of Houston, said residents caring for children, the elderly and those with immune disorders should try to keep them out of homes until they have been cleaned.