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Hinton CF, Griese SE, Anderson MR, Chernak E, Peacock G, Thorpe PG, Lurie N. MMWR Morb. Mortal. Wkly. Rep. 2015; 64(35): 972-974.


(Copyright © 2015, (in public domain), Publisher U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)






Recent public health emergencies including Hurricane Katrina (2005), the influenza H1N1 pandemic (2009), and the Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa (2014–2015) have demonstrated the importance of multiple-level emergency planning and response. An effective response requires integrating coordinated contributions from community-based health care providers, regional health care coalitions, state and local health departments, and federal agency initiatives. This is especially important when planning for the needs of children, who make up 23% of the U.S. population and have unique needs that require unique planning strategies.

Across a wide range of chemical, biologic, radiological, and nuclear disasters, children (persons aged <18 years) have special physiologic, developmental, and social needs that must be addressed during public health emergencies. For example, school-aged children were disproportionately affected during the H1N1 pandemic, with higher rates of infection and death. Children were more likely to develop thyroid cancer than adults after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant explosion in Ukraine. After the 2011 earthquake in Japan, children living near the Fukushima power plant explosion experienced increased psychological problems in addition to concerns about cancer. Furthermore, adolescents affected by the 9/11 attacks have been shown to have higher rates of mental health concerns such as anxiety and depression, and young children have experienced increased rates of respiratory ailments. As a group, children are uniquely vulnerable during public health emergencies and often suffer both acute and long-term effects....

Language: en


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