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Journal Articles Emerging Infectious Diseases Year : 2006

Negligible risk for epidemics after geophysical disasters.


After geophysical disasters (i.e., earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis), media reports almost always stress the risk for epidemics; whether this risk is genuine has been debated. We analyzed the medical literature and data from humanitarian agencies and the World Health Organization from 1985 to 2004. Of >600 geophysical disasters recorded, we found only 3 reported outbreaks related to these disasters: 1 of measles after the eruption of Pinatubo in Philippines, 1 of coccidioidomycosis after an earthquake in California, and 1 of Plasmodium vivax malaria in Costa Rica related to an earthquake and heavy rainfall. Even though the humanitarian response may play a role in preventing epidemics, our results lend support to the epidemiologic evidence that short-term risk for epidemics after a geophysical disaster is very low.
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hal-00465306 , version 1 (19-03-2010)


  • HAL Id : hal-00465306 , version 1
  • PUBMED : 16704799


Nathalie Floret, Jean-François Viel, Frédéric Mauny, Bruno Hoen, Renaud Piarroux. Negligible risk for epidemics after geophysical disasters.. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 2006, 12 (4), pp.543-8. ⟨hal-00465306⟩
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