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Health officials warn of Lake Ontario flooding illness risks

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Payne Horning
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WRVO News (file photo)
Residents cleaning up their properties from this year's high precipitation are being urged to take safety precautions because of potential infectious organisms in the flood water.

As residents along Lake Ontario try to clean up from this year's flooding, state officials are warning about the health risks the situation poses. 

The Oswego County Health Department is offering resident's free Tdap -- or tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis vaccine -- shots for those affected by the flooding.

Health officials say the flood water and contaminated soil can contain infectious organisms. That's why the New York State Department of Health advises that people wear protective equipment like rubber boots, waterproof gloves and face masks when working in flooded areas.

The Oswego County Health Department has provided protective masks to some of the most affected cities and towns in the county like Mexico and Sandy Creek. It is also offering free test kits so residents can check their wells for bacteria.

Payne Horning is a reporter and producer, primarily focusing on the city of Oswego and Oswego County. He has a passion for covering local politics and how it impacts the lives of everyday citizens. Originally from Iowa, Horning moved to Muncie, Indiana to study journalism, telecommunications and political science at Ball State University. While there, he worked as a reporter and substitute host at Indiana Public Radio. He also covered the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly for the statewide Indiana Public Broadcasting network.