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Natural Disasters and Cholera Outbreaks: Current Understanding and Future Outlook.

Author(s): Jutla, Antarpreet; Khan, Rakibul; Colwell, Rita
Source: Curr Environ Health Rep;2017 Jan 27.
Abstract: PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Diarrheal diseases remain a serious global public health threat, especially for those populations lacking access to safe water and sanitation infrastructure. Although association of several diarrheal diseases, e.g., cholera, shigellosis, etc., with climatic processes has been documented, the global human population remains at heightened risk of outbreak of diseases after natural disasters, such as earthquakes, floods, or droughts. In this review, cholera was selected as a signature diarrheal disease and the role of natural disasters in triggering and transmitting cholera was analyzed. RECENT FINDINGS: Key observations include identification of an inherent feedback loop that includes societal structure, prevailing climatic processes, and spatio-temporal seasonal variability of natural disasters. Data obtained from satellite-based remote sensing are concluded to have application, although limited, in predicting risks of a cholera outbreak(s). We argue that with the advent of new high spectral and spatial resolution data, earth observation systems should be seamlessly integrated in a decision support mechanism to be mobilize resources when a region suffers a natural disaster. A framework is proposed that can be used to assess the impact of natural disasters with response to outbreak of cholera, providing assessment of short- and long-term influence of climatic processes on disease outbreaks.
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