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close this bookCommunicable Diseases Following Natural Disasters - Risk Assessment and Priority Interventions (WHO; 2006; 19 pages) View the PDF document
View the documentAcknowledgements
View the documentIntroduction
close this folder1. Assessing the risk of communicable diseases
View the document1.1 Communicable diseases associated with natural disasters
View the document1.2 Waterborne diseases
View the document1.3 Diseases associated with crowding
View the document1.4 Vector-borne diseases
View the document1.5 Other diseases associated with natural disasters
View the document1.6 Disaster-related disruptions
View the document2. Dead bodies and the risk of communicable diseases
open this folder and view contents3. Prevention of communicable diseases following natural disasters
View the document4. Disaster preparedness plans and control of communicable diseases
View the documentReferences
View the documentAppendix 1
 

1.1 Communicable diseases associated with natural disasters

The sudden presence of large numbers of dead bodies in disaster-affected areas can heighten expectations of disease outbreaks (2), despite the fact that dead bodies do not pose a risk of outbreaks following natural disasters (3). Rather, the risk of outbreaks is associated with the size, health status and living conditions of the population displaced by the natural disaster. Crowding, inadequate water and sanitation, and poor access to health services, often characteristic of sudden population displacement, increase the risk of communicable disease transmission (4).

Although the overall risk of communicable disease outbreaks is lower than often perceived, the risk of transmission of certain endemic and epidemic-prone diseases can increase following natural disasters.

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