What is 'trench foot' and will Burning Man attendees get it?

What is 'trench foot' and will Burning Man attendees get it?

Burning Man 2023

ViralBear / VideoElephant

As rumours of cannibalism and Ebola emerge from the news that Burning Man attendees have been stranded in the Nevada desert due to weather conditions, many have been speculating that festival goers are going to develop trench foot.

Healthlinedefines trench foot as a “serious condition resulting from your feet being wet for too long. It causes damage to the circulation and nerve function.

Extreme rain and mud has meant that the majority of attendees - roughly 70,000 - are stuck waiting for conditions to improve before they can leave. Entrance and exits of the area have been blocked and the closest town is Reno, Nevada which is about 100 miles away.

Whilst trench foot is largely associated with World War I, after it killed an estimated 75,000 British soldiers, it is still possible to contract today “if your feet are exposed to cold and wet conditions for too long”, according to Healthline, conditions which many of Burning Man attendees will now found themselves in.

Many on social media have called the event “Trench Foot 2023” as TikTok videos show people wandering around the site barefoot in mud.


#bm2023 #burningman breakfast in the mud

To avoid developing trench foot, the CDC recommends air-drying and elevating your feet, as well as replacing wet socks and shoes with dry ones.

If you’ve already contracted trench foot, you can treat it by throughly cleaning and drying feet, putting on clean, dry socks daily, soaking the affected area in warm water, and of course seeking medical assistance as soon as possible.

Due to the intermittent signal at Burning Man, it’s hard to tell if any attendees have developed trench foot, and if so, how many. But as conditions are hoped to improve over the coming days, we’re likely to hear from those who were stuck.

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