Mold-related health issues may worsen following severe flooding

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) --- A Knoxville allergist determines that mold could be the cause of prolonged sickness in East Tennessee.

With the flooding East Tennessee has experienced, mold-related health issues are expected to get worse.

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) recommends people take precautions with mold removal and food consumption following severe flooding.

CHFS says following flooding the risk of incurring wounds may increase and people should use caution during mold-clean us.

The cabinet also warns people of food safety risks. It released tips for the proper precautions following a power outage involving refrigerators.

"Refrigerated foods should be safe as long as power is out for no more than four hours. Throw away any perishable food in your refrigerator, such as meat, poultry, lunchmeats, fish, dairy products, eggs and any prepared or cooked foods that have been above 40 degrees Fahrenheit for two hours," said CHFS spokesperson.

Dr. Laura Green, an allergist at The Allergy Asthma & Sinus Center of Knoxville says that if you have been sick for more than 10 days you could be allergic to mold.

According to Green mold spores can travel further down the respiratory tract than other allergies because they are very small.

" Whether you just have problems with nasal symptoms or even with asthma those can be bad allergens for people," said Green.

The allergist says a daily over the counter allergy medication could help, but with the amount of rain lately, you might want to take further precautions.

" It's always appropriate to wear a mask to try and limit your exposure if you have mold in your home because we do see mold growth in places like in basements crawl spaces and bathrooms," said Green.

She continued, "If you feel like you have a mold issue in your house remediation services or other professional taking a look is a good idea."