The Brahmaputra, Surma, and the Kushiyara rivers have been rising due to ongoing monsoon rains, prompting flood warnings in the north and northeast of the country. Monsoon showers are expected to result in flooding along these rivers and elsewhere in the north in July, a month forecast to have between 16 and 22 rainy days. The Surma, Kushiyara, Teesta and Brahmaputra river areas will see particularly heavy rains in the first half of July. Torrential rains have already submerged households located in low-lying areas of Shariatpur, Lalmonirhat, and Moulvibazar; water levels are expected to continue to rise until around Saturday, July 8.
Torrential rains and subsequent flooding and landslides affect Bangladesh on a yearly basis during the rainy season that spans from April to October. Northern and central districts were affected by massive flooding throughout July and August 2016, with more than 1.5 million people affected across 16 central and southern districts; at least 60 people were killed by flood waters, while hundreds of thousands of residents were evacuated.
Floodwaters pose an increased health threat as they facilitate the spread of mosquito- and water-borne diseases. There is a risk of contracting malaria throughout the year in Bangladesh but transmission occurs only in rural areas. Dengue fever is endemic and is also transmitted through mosquito bites, including in urban areas. Gastric water-borne diseases are very common; epidemics usually occur during the rainy season.
Individuals present regions affected by flooding are advised to follow all instructions as issued by local authorities. Monitor any relevant developments of the situation via local media, the authorities, and reliable weather reporting outlets. Remember that driving or walking through running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult - and that floodwater may contain wastewater or chemical products; all items having come into contact with the water should be disinfected and all foodstuffs disposed of.
Due to the possible presence of mosquito-borne diseases, individuals are advised to take preventive measures to protect themselves from mosquito bites (use insect repellent, wear covering clothing, sleep in screened-in or air conditioned rooms) and destroy possible mosquito breeding grounds, which include masses of garbage and small pockets of stagnant water, e.g. water that has collected in cans, bottles, tires, vases, flower pots, clogged gutters, air conditioners, and water dishes for pets.
To minimize your risk of contracting water-borne diseases, practice good hygiene, consume only treated or bottled water, and avoid foods that cannot be thoroughly cooked or disinfected.
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