Delayed-impact infectious disease after a natural disaster

J Emerg Med. 1983;1(1):59-66. doi: 10.1016/0736-4679(83)90010-0.


Most recent studies of natural disasters have shown little increase in post-disaster infectious disease. The result has been a de-emphasis of the disease control portion of many disaster relief programs. This study demonstrates a significant increase in four out of the five diseases studied following two hurricanes in the Dominican Republic, with the major impact of the increases coming several months after the disaster. Posited reasons for the increase in infectious diseases are: (a) overcrowding of makeshift refugee centers with insufficient sanitary facilities, and (b) flood-caused water transmission of pathogens.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Communicable Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Communicable Diseases / transmission
  • Crowding
  • Disasters*
  • Disease Outbreaks / epidemiology*
  • Dominican Republic
  • Gastroenteritis / epidemiology
  • Hepatitis A / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Measles / epidemiology
  • Paratyphoid Fever / epidemiology
  • Sanitation
  • Time Factors
  • Typhoid Fever / epidemiology