People who are trying to return to their homes in rural Manitoba following flooding last year say mould growth has surfaced as a new problem.

"I had to get out because I was physically sick," Annette Viallet, who has a home in the rural municipality of St. Laurent, told CBC News. "I couldn't stand to be in there."

Viallet said she now dons a special mask before venturing inside the house.

"Now I am able to go for little bits of time," she said. "But if I go in for even an hour or so then I am stuck with a headache for two days."

Viallet is especially worried about how the mould will affect her husband, who is battling lung cancer.

An estimated 700 properties in the municipality were damaged by flooding last spring.

Viallet said it was not known when she might be able to permanently get back into her house.