LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Arkansans are taking pride in restoring the communities hit by the tornado more than a week ago, but state health officials want to warn residents and volunteers of health concerns during this effort.
"There's a lot of two by fours with nails and so puncture wounds have been far away the most common injury that people have sustained," said Doctor Gary Wheeler with the Arkansas Department of Health.
Wheeler cautions those working in the areas about tetanus, which could turn into a very serious issue.
"Once it starts developing it can cause contractions of all your muscles and eventually cause paralysis where you can't breathe because you're so tied up," elaborated Doctor Brent Ryals.
Burning debris remains an issue despite the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality's (ADEQ) request for residents to stop burning and instead create piles of debris on the side of the road to be disposed of in dumpsters.
"Batteries, aerosol, and things that might be lying around and getting in these piles can get burned and released chemicals and toxins into the air so we really encourage people to not burn," said Wheeler. "People who have underlying respiratory disease are going to have their asthma and chronic obstructive lung disease triggered and it can be real dangerous for their health as well."
The doctors recommend wearing a mask when working near debris. Wheeler also reminds parents to be especially aware of their children and the possibility of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He describes symptoms as," being hyper vigilant, jumpy, having trouble sleeping, bad dreams, and not wanting to be around people or places that remind them of the tornado."
Doctor Wheeler says PTSD symptoms can occur weeks even months after the disaster.