Doctors warn of the hidden health risks in flood water

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- Rising water means a risk of flood-related injuries, especially for those who put themselves into the water.

NewsDrone9 shows the Cedar River covering Otis Road SE on September 4, 2018.

Doctors are warning there's a lot of hidden dangers when it comes to flood water.

Mercy Medical Center tell us they've seen a number of drownings, near-drownings, and infections all from flood waters.

Contaminated floodwater can have sewage along with human and animal waste that can make people sick.

The biggest danger doctors say is drowning.

If kids are playing in fast-moving currents they can potentially get swept away.

Dr. Karl Anderson with Mercy Medical says there are also storm drains that children may not be able to see.

"Kids can get stuck into storm drains, they can get pulled under water, even if they're not sucked into the storm drain they can become trapped against the storm drain and not be able to get themselves free to get to the surface," says Dr. Anderson.

Photos posted on Facebook four days ago show children in Benton County playing in flood water.

Although it may seem like a fun idea, Dr. Anderson tells us it is just not safe.

"Flood water by nature has raw sewage in it, its untreated water so there's a big risk of infection, you know primarily would be GI symptoms, vomiting and diarrhea," says Dr. Anderson.

Doctors say other things to look out is open wounds that could become infected.

Be cautious of sharp options like broken bottles or cans you can't see in the water, they can cause injuries especially if you're barefoot.

After strong storms, there is also a chance there could be hidden power lines that aren't visible.

Doctors say their biggest advice is to stay away from standing water after flooding.

If you are in contact with flooded water, practice good hygiene, wash your hands, and make sure you get into dry clothes.