The epicenter is the Pazarcık and Elbistan districts of Kahramanmaraş; Because of the earthquakes with a magnitude of 7.7 and 7.6 on the Richter scale that caused great destruction in Kahramanmaraş, Gaziantep, Şanlıurfa, Diyarbakır, Adana, Adıyaman, Osmaniye, Hatay, Kilis, Malatya and Elazığ, dean prof. dr Faruk Aydın discussed the health problems that can arise nowadays.
prof. Dr Faruk Aydın said: “Firstly, although microbial agents can rapidly participate in the trauma-related health problems of people affected by disasters, some dangers await us due to malnutrition, inadequate sanitary conditions, collective and very close contact, and the collective use of different tools and equipment.” prof. Dr. Faruk Aydın stated that the things to be done and the methods to be recommended on site were communicated to the doctors and health workers serving in the earthquake zone.
infections should be considered.
Stating that persons injured during the disaster are at risk of tetanus, gas gangrene, wound infections and aspiration pneumonia, Prof. Dr. Faruk Aydın continued his explanation as follows:
“To prevent these infections, first of all, good antisepsis of the wounds is important. At the same time, the affected persons should get a tetanus vaccination at the nearest health facility, because contrary to popular belief, people of all age groups need a tetanus vaccination. Environments where survivors live together, such as tent cities and container areas, pose a risk for respiratory disease. Studies show that outbreaks of respiratory infections are the most common after disasters.”
Mask use and hygiene are very important
Drawing attention to the use of masks to prevent respiratory diseases in this process, Prof. Dr. Aydın said: “Respiratory agents are transmitted by droplets and air, and the use of masks prevents the transmission of these substances, so it is important for disaster survivors living in the region to use masks, especially in environments where they are together. In addition, it is recommended that health personnel working in the region use masks to protect themselves, patients and other colleagues. Influenza, respiratory syncytial virus and SARS-CoV-2 are the main factors we are concerned about causing epidemics in respiratory infections. Related viruses are surrounded by a lipid envelope layer and can be destroyed from the surface where they are encountered with appropriate antisepsis and disinfection methods. For this purpose, alcohol-based antiseptics dissolve the lipid layer of the viruses present, the use of soap surrounds the viruses and ensures that they are eliminated with water. EPA-registered disinfectants, on the other hand, are effective at removing related viruses from the environment when used for environmental disinfection. In addition to these viruses, the measles virus is a highly contagious virus that spreads through the air. 10 out of 9 people from every age group around the sick person will become infected if they are not immune. Therefore, it is very important to vaccinate against measles in childhood. At the same time, we foresee that tuberculosis, a respiratory infection, could develop insidiously and emerge post-disaster in the future.
“We recommend the field toilet”
Aydın, who suggested that one of the most urgent needs of people is a toilet, and one of the most urgent needs of the people, in terms of hygiene, is the field toilet. It is enough to dig trenches 25 cm wide and 75 cm deep in suitable places and install boards at both ends. Those who meet their needs can ensure that the area is closed off by throwing soil into the ditch. In this way, it is possible to prevent infections transmitted through faeces. Because we expect water and food infections in the future. Many deadly bacterial and viral infections, such as cholera, norovirus, and rotavirus, can occur when hands contaminated with feces are somehow brought to the mouth. Cholera can affect people of all ages and can lead to severe dehydration and death if left untreated. In this case, we recommend that you quickly go to the nearest health facility. Before reaching the relevant setting, oral rehydration fluid (ORS) should be prepared, and people’s dehydration situation should be minimized immediately. For the preparation of ORS, it is enough to add a tablespoon of granulated sugar, a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of baking soda to a liter of boiled water and mix. However, rotavirus can cause prolonged diarrhea and vomiting, especially in infants and children, and in this sense, children should be aware of hygiene.
Flies increase the risk of infection
Aydın also ended his warnings in case of an increase in flying in the region with the following words:
“In the later post-disaster period, arthropod-borne infections such as malaria, rickettsia and typhoid are on the rise due to the increase in flies in the region. For this reason, we should not ignore the vector war. In addition, people living in the disaster area in the future are at risk of skin infections such as anthrax and scabies. Communal living quarters such as tent cities allow for the spread of related factors. In addition to all these, depending on the living conditions, infections such as leptospirosis and rabies of animal origin should not be ignored. Cases of hepatitis A, E and polio have been reported to have increased in the late post-disaster period. In conclusion, post-disaster infection management is a long process and must be considered with all its elements. Relevant infection control measures must be put in place for each infection.”