Infectious Disease Risk After the Great East Japan Earthquake
Satoshi Mimura, Taro Kamigaki, and Hitoshi Oshitani
Department of Virology, Graduate School of Medicine, Tohoku University, 2-1 Seiryo Machi, Aoba-ku, Sendai 980-8575, Japan
Infectious disease outbreaks in postdisaster settings provide significant social impact although those outbreaks do not always occur. It is important to assess the potential risks of infectious disease in each setting. The Great East Japan Earthquake, which occurred March 11, 2011, imposed a huge impact on public health services. After the earthquake and following tsunami, many evacuation centers were sites of crowding as well as poor sanitation conditions because of the large- scale of destruction. Some shelters became sites of infectious disease outbreaks such as influenza and norovirus enteritis, although the size of these outbreaks was quite localized. Improvements in the response to infectious diseases through lessons learned from the Great East Japan Earthquake are expected to be the triggers for improving preparedness for public health emergencies.
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