The risk of postnatural disaster infectious diseases

On 26 December 2004 a tsunami struck South Asia, resulting in 230,000 deaths and displacement of 5 million persons (Ishii et al., 2005; Lay et al., 2005). This represents what has been regarded as the third greatest natural disaster in recorded history. The initial event caused death by trauma and drowning, but WHO emphasized the risk of subsequent infectious disease outbreaks that might even double the mortality (Moszynski, 2005).

The following is a summary of the infectious disease risks associated with natural disasters. It should be emphasized that natural disasters most commonly involve flooding, earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornadoes. A review of the published literature on epidemics associated with such disasters indicates that much of the morbidity and mortality (Salama et al., 2004) is not a direct result of the natural disaster per se, but rather of the crowded conditions and disrupted services that result from the disaster (Wilder-Smith, 2005). Contributing factors to this association are listed in Table 13.2. This shows that most of the associated epidemics are diseases that characterize refugee settings.

Survival Basics

Survival Basics

This is common knowledge that disaster is everywhere. Its in the streets, its inside your campuses, and it can even be found inside your home. The question is not whether we are safe because no one is really THAT secure anymore but whether we can do something to lessen the odds of ever becoming a victim.

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