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.

 

Disclaimer: This summary has been written by staff and volunteers of Evidence Aid in order to make the content of the original document accessible to decision makers who are searching for the available evidence for Windstorms but may not have the time, initially, to read the original report in full. This summary is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice of physicians, other health workers, professional associations, guideline developers, or national governments and international agencies. If readers of this summary think that the evidence that is presented within it is relevant to their decision-making they should refer to the content and details of the original article, and the advice and guidelines offered by other sources of expertise, before making decisions. Evidence Aid cannot be held responsible for any decisions made about Windstorms on the basis of this summary alone.

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