Communicable Diseases After the Disasters: with the Special Reference to the Great East Japan Earthquake
Kentaro Iwata*1, Goh Ohji*1, Hideaki Oka*2,
Yoshihiro Takayama*3, Tetsuji Aoyagi*4, Yoshiaki Gu*4,
Masumitsu Hatta*4, Koichi Tokuda*4, and Mitsuo Kaku*4
*1Division of Infectious Diseases Therapeutics, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, Kobe, Hyogo 650-0017, Japan
*2Department of General Medicine, Kanto Rosai Hospital, Kawasaki, Kanagawa 211-8510, Japan
*3Department of Infectious Diseases, Okinawa Chubu Hospital, Uruma, Okinawa 904-2293, Japan
*4Department of Infection Control and Laboratory Diagnosis, Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai, Miyagi 980-8575, Japan
On March 11, 2011, the Great East Japan Earthquake – a massive temblor followed by a gigantic tsunami was associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Among many health problems such as trauma, drowning, and mental illnesses, infectious diseases may place significant burden on survivors of such disasters. Wound infections including tetanus, leptospirosis, legionellosis, rickettsiosis, respiratory infections, and diarrheal illness among other infections had been considered to be associated with earthquake and tsunami. Overall, the impact of infectious diseases after the Great East Japan Earthquake was relatively small, with only sporadic outbreaks observed. The incidence of serious infections such as tetanus, legionellosis, and tsunami lung, was also low, considering the overall impact of the earthquake and tsunami per se. This review discusses the impact of infectious diseases after the Great East Japan Earthquake, and reviews past disaster-related infections as reference.
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