(KMOV) – As the flood waters continue to rise, health officials are issuing a warning that it is unsafe to play in.
Dr. Faisel Khan with the St. Louis County Health Department says the water may look safe enough but it can contain unseen dangers.
“I think the water is viewed as non-threatening, especially if you can’t see the threat. What people fail to understand is this is not fresh river water. This is stagnate water with sewage water backing up into it, contaminated with all kinds of bacteria, chemicals, and what not,” Dr. Khan said.
Some residents say teens and children can be seen splashing and swimming in the contaminated waters, ignoring the risk.
Dr. Khan said those people can end up with a wide variety of health problems if they make contact with the flood waters.
It’s dangerous because there is a risk of contracting diarrheal diseases, skin irritation, and eye irritations because of all the chemicals and sewage mixed into it,” Khan added.
Other risks in flood waters include reptiles and insects as well as infection following a cut by floating debris.