Claiming that earthquakes also increase the risk of infectious diseases because they cause disruptions in the supply and protection of the necessary water and hygiene conditions, possible overcrowding in temporary housing environments, displacement of large numbers of people and serious injury. Uluğ said, “Although infectious diseases are not a cause of death in the acute period of the earthquake, various infections may develop in the post-earthquake period, and the earthquake survivors may be lost to the infection.” said.
Dr. Dr. Uluğ said: “The earthquake that people experience and the stress caused by it, the lack of hygiene and the negative environmental conditions. In addition, the lack of food and clean water during the unplanned shelter of the earthquake-affected people in the camps in large crowds paves the way for the development of infection. used the sentences.
How should bodies be buried?
Dr. Uluğ said, “It is recommended to bury the bodies one by one in the designated cemeteries, not close to the spring waters.” said.
Dr. Mehmet Uluğ said: “The location of the camps, their proximity to water sources and the distance of mobile toilets and bathrooms from these water sources should be well planned. In addition, access to clean water is important. By following the hygiene rules in combination with the availability of clean water, infectious diseases that can be transmitted through water can be prevented. he said.
How do you get clean water?
Noting that washing hands and observing basic personal hygiene measures after the disaster will prevent the spread of disease, Ümit Batıkent Hospital infectious disease specialist Dr. Uluğ summarized what needs to be done as follows:
“Hands should be washed regularly with soap and water before eating or preparing food, after going to the toilet or after sneezing, coughing and when there is visible contamination. If there is no visible contamination, they should be rubbed with alcohol-containing solutions for 20 seconds. After after the earthquake, there may be problems with access to drinking water, however care should be taken to ensure adequate fluid intake.
Dr. Uluğ said: “If this kind of drinking water cannot be reached, boiled and chilled water can also be drunk, because the microbes die from boiling. If boiling is not possible, the existing water must be disinfected with bleach (chlorine) and consumed. The amount of bleach to be added to the water depends on the amount of chlorine in the product to be used, so the amount of chlorine should be determined by the label on the bleach to be used. If using conventional bleach, which is commonly used in homes and contains 4 percent chlorine, 3 drops of bleach are added to each gallon of water to ensure adequate chlorination. Chlorinated water prepared as described above can also be used for washing fruits and vegetables. He used his expressions. Dr. Mehmet Uluğ said: “The surfaces and materials on which food is prepared must be clean; foods other than fruits and vegetables should be thoroughly cooked and consumed and stored at safe temperatures; Raw food should be kept separate from cooked food and should not come into contact with the same surfaces. The environment must be kept clean.” said.
What infections can develop after an earthquake?
Uluğ divided the infections that can develop after the earthquake into 3: infections caused by water and food due to the deterioration of sanitary conditions and infections caused by the risk of crowded environments, and clarified these types of infections. Infections that can develop after an earthquake; Defining wounds and infections resulting from injuries, Dr. Uluğ said: “After earthquakes, crush syndrome can arise due to crushing and exposing all or part of people’s bodies that collapse. In this case, edema in the muscles, shock, renal failure, heart and respiratory failure may occur. Injuries in the body of the earthquake victim also facilitate the development of infection. Tetanus is one of the most important infections that can develop in people who have not been vaccinated or who have not been fully vaccinated. he said.
Diarrhea is the cause of 40% of deaths in camps.
The second type of infection that can develop; Dr. Mehmet Uluğ explained them as follows:
“Diarrhea is the leading cause of death in post-earthquake relief camps, accounting for 40 percent of deaths. For this reason, the establishment of refugee camps must be well planned and access to clean water must be good. However, the reduced access to clean water during disasters or the contamination of water by sewage is an important problem that is often experienced. In this case, it reduces the use of water and then there are diarrheal epidemics. pollution of water; It can be caused by mixing of wastewater or contamination of water during transport and/or storage. In addition, diarrheal outbreaks have been reported to occur due to the use of common water tanks or cookware used in food preparation, lack of soap, and consumption of contaminated food. There may also be an increase in hepatitis A and hepatitis E cases after earthquakes, if the sewage system collapses or if there is a problem with the disposal of waste water or if there is difficulty in accessing clean drinking water.
Influenza, covid 19, measles, tuberculosis
Speaking of infections being transmitted due to the risk of crowded environments, Dr. Mehmet Uluğ said: “Acute respiratory disease is responsible for about 20 percent of post-disaster deaths, especially in children under the age of five, and pneumonia is reported to be the cause of most deaths.” he said. Among the factors that increase the risk of developing acute respiratory disease; Claiming that crowded environments, poor ventilation conditions, malnutrition, overcrowded shelter camps and cold weather can be counted. Uluğ said: “Although there are not many reports of flu epidemics after the earthquake, flu and COVID-19 outbreaks may occur due to the seasonal conditions we are in and the crowding of the camps where the earthquake victims be taken care of.” said.
Dr. Uluğ said: “Vaccination is very important to prevent the spread of measles.” He also pointed out that cases of meningitis can also be seen during this period. Dr. Mehmet Uluğ explained other infections that can develop during this period as follows:
“Tuberculosis is another infection diagnosed after natural disasters. Particular attention should be paid to tuberculosis cases occurring in the late post-disaster period. It should also be taken into account that in crowded environments, factors such as lack of hygiene, insufficient water consumption and sleeping in each other’s bed can eventually develop scabies.”
Dr. Dr. Uluğ said: “Malaria cases can be seen after mosquito bites. It is necessary to pay attention to the increase in malaria cases when the regional conditions, climate and season are the period when mosquitoes increase, and preventive studies should be carried out in this regard. he said.