Victims of Balkans Floods Worry Health Threat Over Drowned Livestock (PHOTOS)

By Esther Tanquintic-Misa
May 21, 2014 1:38 PM EST

Victims of Balkans Floods Worry Health Threat Over Drowned Livestock (PHOTOS)

After their homes and properties were washed away last week, victims of the Balkans floods now worry over the potential ill effects to their health of the drowned livestock found floating just about everywhere.

As the weather temperatures start to normalise in Bosnia and Serbia, coupled with the receding floodwaters, residents were aghast to find the surroundings yield a more harrowing and disturbing sight - thousands of dead cows, pigs, sheep, dogs and other animals were everywhere.

Read: Bosnia, Serbia Floods: 44 Dead, Landslides Force Thousands to Flee Homes, Power Plants at Risk (PHOTOS)

In the town of Samac in Bosnia, 400 dead cows were found out of a barn, while in one area of central Serbia alone, 1,900 sheep and lambs were found dead.

Police continued to caution people not to touch the dead animals and leave the disposal to authorities.

Sanja Celbicanin, Chief Serbian Veterinary Inspector, said only 140 tonnes of drowned animals have so far been destroyed. Much work still has yet to be done.

"Dead animals are a special problem and those have to be removed and destroyed properly," Dr Zeljko Ler, Bosnia's chief epidemiologist, told AP.

Both Bosnia and Serbia residents were cautioned to wait for teams to disinfect first their home areas before they return. They were also warned not to eat anything from flooded gardens, orchards or barns.

"We are warning the population to drink only boiled or bottled water," Ler said. "There are still no mass infections, but for some diseases the incubation period is 14 to 21 days."

He said that acute stomach ailments and other diseases, including hepatitis and typhoid erupt, abound

and often spread after flooding, .

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