Doctor Sergio Cortes is the Health Secretary for Brazil. He was instrumental in helping his fellow citizens in the city of Duque de Caxias, in Xerém, which is situated in the state of Rio de Janeiro, recover from a devastating flood a while back. The flooding devastated the heavily populated city and surrounding areas. Reporting to the country’s Health Minister, Dr. Cortes did an intensive survey of damage to infrastructure while he toured the affected areas. He found major problems with the water supply and sewage treatment plant. After testing the water supply from the taps in the city’s shelters, Cortes found that there was a presence of leptospirosis, a deadly bacteria.
This development got Sergio Cortes into action to do his best to prevent the emergence of serious diseases enabled by the flood waters. Chief among the possible outbreaks that he was guarding against were hepatitis A and dengue fever. Both these diseases have occurred after flooding in the past in Brazil. He immediately reported the dangerous water situation to Health Minister Camillo Junqueira, who ordered more pallets of safe bottled water to be trucked to the emergency shelters. He also issued orders, based upon Dr. Cortes’ recommendation, that all water be disinfected before use in hygiene and cooking. He also required everyone to start drinking only bottled water.
Another major decision Dr. Cortes came to was also enacted by the Health Minister: thousands of more instant injections for strong antibiotic treatments were provided to the healthcare workers at the shelters. Other diseases were also a concern for the good doctor. Besides the possibility of an outbreak of meningitis and chicken pox, there was the problem of severe diarrhea, brought on by the consumption of polluted drinking water. Compounding these issues were early occurrences of the Zika virus and some other lesser issues that caused panic in some of the populace.
On Dr. Cortes’ recommendation, more critically-needed Hydration Centers were setup in the city. Each one can help to save lives by rehydrating victims. They can process up to 300 people each day. Read more details about the flood and the response by Dr. Cortes, and follow Dr. Cortes on his Twitter, and check out LinkedIn shares by Dr. Cortes.