The health and health care system impacts of earthquakes, windstorms and floods

Added August 14, 2018

Citation: Louis V., Phalkey R., Le Polain De Waroux O., et al. The health and health care system impacts of earthquakes, windstorms and floods –a systematic review. MICRODIS paper series. Brussels: Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters, 2008, 1Á62.

Floods and windstorms were found to have significant impacts on different aspects of health such as mortality (e.g.,  higher death rates in flash floods), injury (e.g., collapse of shelter, vehicle accidents), infectious diseases (e.g., cholera, salmonella, typhoid and others), chronic diseases (e.g., systemic interruption and lack of access to drugs), malnutrition (e.g. crop damage, reduced consumption, disruption of flood supply), chemical contamination (e.g., exposure to water and pathogens, inadequate sanitation).

This systematic review aimed to investigate the impacts of natural disasters (specifically earthquakes, windstorms, and floods) on health and health systems. 29 articles on impacts from earthquakes were included, as well as 16 articles on windstorm impacts and 124 on impacts from floods. Future work should focus on evaluation chronic health problems related to natural disasters, focusing on vulnerable groups, mental health, and considering research differences and needs in Europe and Asia.


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