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Floods -- North Carolina -- Environmental aspects, Hurricane Florence (2018) -- Environemntal aspects, Water -- Composition -- Testing, Salmonella enterica, Drug resistance in microorganisms


The frequency and magnitude of extreme events are increasing globally (Arnell & Gosling, 2016). Inundation, as a result of massive flooding, has the potential to change environmental conditions abruptly, and as a result, add pressure to the metabolism and proliferation of microorganisms (Furtak et al., 2020). The resulting overland flows and additional burden from domestic sewer and septic tank systems during an extreme flood event can introduce pathogens into ecologically unstable water bodies. For example, Yu et al. (2018) reported elevated levels of Escherichia coli and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in river water samples 6 months after flooding in Houston, TX. Rural counties in the United States also experience devastating effects of floods, including effects on agriculture and livestock production. These include loss of livestock, supply chain disruption, and the risk of contamination of the facilities housing agricultural animals (Bissett et al., 2018). Microbial contamination after a flood event needs to be investigated because floods may spread infectious diseases not only to livestock but also to humans as they interact with flooded waters.


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Originally appeared in GeoHealth, volume 5, issue 2, February 2021. Published by John Wiley & Sons for the American Geophysical Union.



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