A few years ago, Sergio Cortes, the State Secretary of Health in Brazil, visited Xerém, Duque de Caxias, to survey the effects caused by floods, and also console the population affected by floods in that area. The State Government had established a Hydration Center at Xerém health facility to cater for those affected by dengue virus. The Hydration Center had 12 chairs that would serve about 300 people in a day. Sergio Cortes said they were only taking measures that would prevent the worst situation in case the disaster is out of control.

Sergio Cortes stressed that the action taken by the state Department of Health was to provide necessary support to the municipality, which had huge amount of garbage around the city increasing chances of breeding of mosquito that was responsible for causing dengue virus. Sergio Cortes held a crisis meeting with Camillo Junqueira, the municipal official in charge of health, and National Health Force Conception Mendonca’s coordinator, and they agreed to provide another calamity kit to the area since the first one had already arrived. In addition, the state was supposed to deliver antibiotic tablets for early prevention of leptospirosis.

The State Department of Health in collaboration with the Epidemiological Surveillance experts were taking these measures in order to suppress the spreading of diseases that are caused by contaminated water like leptospirosis, diarrhea, hepatitis B, chicken pox, meningitis and dengue. The Cultural Laboratory Noel Nutels was not satisfied with samples gathered in seven homesteads in Xerém by the team that was mandated to carry the exercise. Instead, the Department of Health recommended water to be disinfected daily, in addition, the government was supposed to deliver 10,000 bottles of sodium hypochlorite to the region. All residents were advised to use packed water and observe high level of hygiene as a way of preventing more disasters.

Exame reported that Sergio Cortes asked residents to use hypochlorite in their water tanks to disinfect the water. He further urged those donating towards the Xerém situation to include packed water as part of their donation. At Xerém health center, a situation room was opened to monitor to all health actions for the area. Sergio Cortes said that the government would deliver another calamity kit in case a need arises. Also, he said people working in shelters would be trained on how to detect early symptoms of major diseases that have already affected the area. The report was published on Extra through http://extra.globo.com/noticias/rio/o-secretario-de-saude-sergio-cortes-acompanha-situacao-de-xerem-7208972.html. Sergio Cortes can be found on LinkedIn https://br.linkedin.com/in/sergio-cortes-866b8b92 and on Twitter https://twitter.com/dr_sergiocortes.