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Journal Article

Citation

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA. MMWR Morb. Mortal. Wkly. Rep. 2005; 54(40): 1018-1021.

Affiliation

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2005, (in public domain), Publisher U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

DOI

unavailable

PMID

16224450

Abstract

Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast on August 29, 2005, resulting in extensive structural damage and severe flooding from breached levees in and around New Orleans, Louisiana. The public health infrastructure of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (LDHH) was damaged extensively, limiting surveillance for illnesses, injuries, and toxic exposures. On September 9, 2005, LDHH, CDC, and functioning emergency treatment resources (i.e., hospitals, disaster medical assistance teams, and military aid stations) established an active surveillance system to detect outbreaks of disease and characterize post-hurricane injuries and illnesses. As of September 25, the system had monitored 7,508 reports of health-related events at participating facilities. Trends observed in the data prompted investigations of respiratory and rash illnesses, but no major outbreaks of disease or hazardous environmental exposures were detected.These data also were used to identify post-hurricane injury patterns and to guide prevention messages to residents and relief workers. A natural disaster of the magnitude of Hurricane Katrina requires a sustained response and a detailed plan for return to pre-hurricane surveillance activities.

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