Title

Infectious diseases in the aftermath of monsoon flooding in Pakistan

Document Type

Article

Department

Pathology and Laboratory Medicine

Abstract

Pakistan is ranked 9th in terms of flood-affected countries worldwide. In the summer of 2010, the northern province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa received more than 312 mm of rain in a 56 hour period. This resulted in over 1 600 deaths across the region. In addition, over 14 million people were directly affected by this record-breaking deluge. Flood affected regions serve as ideal breeding grounds for pathogens, leading to the spread of diseases. The poor standards of hygiene in camps set up for individuals displaced by the floods also contribute to this. It is essential that those involved in relief efforts are aware of the epidemiology of diseases that have historically seen a sudden upsurge after natural disasters. Keeping this in mind, we conducted a simple review of literature. An extensive literature search was conducted using the PubMed data base and online search engines. Articles published in the last 20 years were considered along with some historical articles where a background was required. Seven major diseases were identified to increase substantially in the aftermath of natural disasters. They were then classified into acute and sub-acute settings. Diarrhea, skin & eye infections and leptospirosis were identified in the acute setting while malaria, leishmaniasis, respiratory infections and hepatitis were identified in the sub-acute setting.

Publication

Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine

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