Risk factors of diarrhoea among flood victims: a controlled epidemiological study

Indian J Public Health. 2001 Oct-Dec;45(4):122-7.


The concept and practice of 'disaster preparedness and response', instead of traditional casualty relief, is relatively new. Vulnerability analysis and health risks assessment of disaster prone communities are important prerequisites of meaningful preparedness and effective response against any calamity. In this community based study, the risk of diarrhoeal disease and its related epidemiological factors were analysed by collecting data from two selected flood prone block of Midnapur district of West Bengal. The information was compared with that of another population living in two non-flood prone blocks of the same district. The study showed that diarrhoeal disease was the commonest morbidity in flood prone population. Some behaviours, like use of pond water for utensil wash and kitchen purpose, hand washing after defecation without soap, improper hand washing before eating, open field defecation, storage of drinking water in wide mouth vessels etc. were found to be associated with high attack rate of diarrhoea, in both study and control population during flood season compared to pre-flood season. Attack rates were also significantly higher in flood prone population than that of population in non-flood prone area during the same season. Necessity of both community education for proper water use behaviour and personal hygiene along with ensuring safe water and sanitation facilities of flood affected communities were emphasized.

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diarrhea / epidemiology*
  • Disaster Planning
  • Disasters*
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Epidemiologic Studies
  • Health Education
  • Humans
  • India / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors