Mold lingers in locals' homes 11 months after Hurricane Michael

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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - As communities rebuild after Hurricane Michael, debris has gradually disappeared; but for some, mold lingers in its place.

Mold can grow virtually anywhere in your home. (Regency Disaster Response Team)

"As soon as humidity comes back in the air, which it does, air conditioning's out, those kind of things. Now, we get enough water activity to continue [mold] growing, so the humidity will bring those hyphae back to activity," said Regency Disaster Response Team Branch Manager Mark Broersma.

Mold needs moisture to grow, and the storm brought plenty of water with it. We saw fungi issues one month after the hurricane, and eleven months later, we still see the same.

Broersma says Hurricane Michael caused so many mold issues because residents couldn't get into their homes for days after the storm. He says it takes those 72 hours for mold to germinate.

Mold can grow virtually anywhere in your home, including behind kitchen cabinets and bathtubs. Lingering mold is often found where no one thought to look, which makes it a lingering health hazard.

Dr. Marwan Obid, who specials in pulmonary and internal medicine, says symptoms include coughing, congestion, itchy eyes, and an itchy nose. He also says to take notice if a cough is lasting longer than usual.

"You will not be able to live too long with it because the symptoms become aggravated day after day. They don't stay the same," said Dr. Obid.

It all depends on your immune system. Dr. Obid says if you don't have a good immune system, "You are in trouble."

If any symptoms are prolonged, call your doctor and get tested. Severe reactions to mold can result in an asthma flare-up or even pneumonia.

"The best way in a home that you can prevent mold is to prevent water intrusion," said Broersma.

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