After a major natural disaster, the chances of contraction a deadly infection dramatically increases. Lack of sanitation and medical attention, as well as crowded living conditions can create a breeding ground for infections.

Being around crowds of people who are displaced puts your immune system at risk. Here are a few diseases, according to the WHO, you can expect if you find yourself amongst quite a few friends who share in your horrible day. Measles can spread like wildfire, especially if immunizations in the region afflicted have gone lax or are even non-existent. Another game-changing illness is meningitis. Acute respiratory infections (ARIs) will rear their ugly head as well because they feast on disaster recovery’s inherently

RELATED: 7 MMR Vaccine Myths Debunked By The Experts

When medication is not readily available, and infections are spreading rapidly, it is up to you to take the right preventative measures to avoid contracting any of these infection.

Prevention includes always washing your hands with a disinfectant, or better yet, wearing gloves when touching an area that may be infected. When in a high risk area, consider wearing additional protective gear, such as safety glasses, a flu mask to cover your mouth, or a hazmat suit.

All waste that may contain traces of the infection should be disposed of in the proper bags, such as a LabMart bag. This is the same kind of bag used by hospitals and medical laboratories.

While protecting yourself with safety gear is an excellent preventative measure, the best way avoid contracting a potentially lethal infection is by getting vaccinated.

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Vaccines cause antibodies to develop in your body to protect you against infection from viruses. Generally, it will take about two weeks for a vaccine to kick in. Your doctor or local drug store can provide you with a vaccination with little to no wait. A nasal spray is even available if you are averse to injections. The more people vaccinated, the more contained the flu will be each season.

For more information:

MSA Safety
us.msasafety.com; 800-672-2222

DuPont
dupont.com

Curad Store
curadstore.com;855-363-4975

Clorex
clorox.com, 800-227-1860

Adenna
adenna.com; 888-323-3662

LabMart
labmart.com; 800-684-1234

EnviroSafety
envirosafetyproducts.com; 800-637-6606

Environmental Protection Agency
epa.gov

Thermomedics
thermomedics.com; 305-433 7814

This article was originally published in the SURVIVOR’S EDGE ™ Spring 2015 issue. Subscription is available in print and digital editions here.