Infectious disease and dermatologic conditions in evacuees and rescue workers after Hurricane Katrina--multiple states, August-September, 2005

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2005 Sep 30;54(38):961-4.


On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck states along the Gulf Coast of the United States. In the days after the hurricane struck, approximately 750 evacuation centers were established in at least 18 states to accommodate more than 200,000 evacuees. State and local health departments, with assistance from CDC, initiated enhanced infectious disease surveillance and outbreak response activities, implemented by teams of public health and rescue workers, including military personnel. Outbreak monitoring included direct reporting of conditions of public health significance to public health agencies; daily contact between CDC and local public health officials; canvassing of reports from CDC, public health departments, and news media for potential infectious disease outbreaks; and investigation of reports of infectious disease with outbreak potential. This report summarizes infectious disease and dermatologic conditions reported during the first 3 weeks after the hurricane, before effective local surveillance was fully implemented. One outbreak of norovirus was reported among evacuees in Texas; no other outbreaks requiring unusual mobilization of public health resources were reported among evacuees or rescue workers.

MeSH terms

  • Communicable Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Diarrhea / epidemiology
  • Diarrhea / microbiology
  • Disasters*
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Humans
  • Refugees
  • Rescue Work
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / epidemiology
  • Skin Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Southeastern United States / epidemiology