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What are the Health Effects of Natural Disasters?

A natural disaster is a natural event like flood, earthquake etc that brings upheaval and devastation in people’s lives. Natural disasters are said to be divine interventions in disguise. Disasters bring havocs but it is equally true that after disasters, many stories of ordinary people committing extra ordinary acts come up. Natural disasters bring out heroes but disasters also bring threat to lives and properties in its wake. Not only that, natural disasters also leave behind trails of tribulations for the survivors.

What are the Health Effects of Natural Disasters


8 Health Effects of Natural Disasters

Here are some health effects of natural disasters:

1) Cholera

Cholera is caused due to intake of dirty or polluted water or food. Natural disasters render food and water contaminated and taking in such kind of food and water can be one of the major and fastest triggers of cholera that is why post-disaster probabilities of cholera are quite high. Cholera is basically an infection caused in the intestine and at times it is so deadly that it doesn’t even need a whole day to kill the victim. Cholera also leads to diarrhoea which leads to loss of body fluids and also threatens the victim with death.

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2) Hepatitis A and E

These are generally caused due to intake of food and water contaminated with human excretory material. No such antibiotics are available for hepatitis a and e. Victims of these infections should take rest and healthy food and a lot of fluids.

3) Typhoid Fever

People suffering with typhoid fever suffer with headaches, stomach aches, unwillingness to eat and at times rashes and spots on skin. Typhoid also leads to diarrhoea in some cases. It is generally caused when eatables are infected with sewage borne bacteria or taken care of by infected people. Though the disease has a cure in the form of antibiotics and vaccination is also available for prevention of this disease but still in disaster-stricken area, due to lack of such efficient treatments, the incidence of this disease can be high.

4) Leptospirosis

It is caused due to intake of water contaminated with the urine of animals and rodents that serves as a carrier for this bacteria leptospirosis. People suffering from this disease suffer from headaches, abdominal pain, rashes, high fever, and chills and at times they undergo jaundice as well. If this disease is not given proper treatment then the victim might suffer from kidney damage, liver failure or even meningitis.

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5) Dysentery

This is also one of the most deadly problems caused due to post-disaster infected and contaminated water. Symptoms include fever, headaches, vomiting, chills, cramps, abdominal pain, sudden urge to take out dump, bloating etc. It basically involves diarrhoea with blood and pus. Although it can be treated with antibiotics and the process of rehydration post-disaster, such things are not adequately available which is why fighting with dysentery becomes a problem.

6) Diseases caused due to Crowding

Crowding is one of the most serious aftermath of disasters and one of the major contributors of some deadly communicable diseases. Measles, Neisseria meningitis, Acute respiratory infections are some of the serious diseases caused due to crowding.

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7) Heart Diseases

The trauma and shock caused due to natural disasters is the groundwork for many heart diseases. The contaminated water makes the situation even worse because the pathogens that go into the body through this dirty water, worsens the existing heart diseases. Disasters bring a lot of infectious and non-infectious diseases in their wake that can lead to heart ailments.

8) Balntidiasis

It is a disease that can be caused due to contamination of water by pig’s faeces. It is also caused where people and pigs live in propinquity. This is a very deadly gut straining infection and involves fever, chills, abdominal pain etc. Areas affected by disasters like typhoons etc have witnessed large cases of this disease.

So these were some deadly health effects of natural disasters. Disasters might be inevitable but their precautions and safety measures are not. One should be aware, alert and prepared!

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About Anirudh Singh

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