Patrick Zoda said he has been working non-stop for a month trying to save his Staten Island home after it was badly damaged by the hurricane, but the debris cloud that filled his house has also filled his lungs and he has developed a very dry, "not a normal cough," WNBC-TV, New York, reported.
"I feel totally drained, tired," Zoda told WNBC-TV. "Every morning I wake up coughing."
Dr. Brahim Ardolic, chairman of Emergency Medicine at Staten Island University Hospital, said he has seen a number of patients with respiratory issues in recent weeks, mostly in people with pre-existing conditions.
However, the mixing flu season, Sandy cleanup, unhygienic conditions, dirty water and mold into homes is a perfect storm for sickness, Ardolic said.
Zoda said he has so much to do he has no time to see a doctor for his cough.
Nonetheless, Ardolic said despite the time constraint, people need to see a doctor.
"You've probably had very little rest, been exposed to conditions that are horrifying and you maybe are sicker than you know," Ardolic told the TV station. "And what gets you ill, it's not the mold necessarily but you might be ignoring symptoms you wouldn't normally be ignoring."