Recommendations regarding the risk of infection after an earthquake

SAFAKNA TURKEY- A specialist in infectious diseases and microbiology who warned about what to do to avoid the risk of infection after an earthquake. prof. Dr. Hakan Leblebicioglu said: “Distributing vaccines without violating the rules of hygiene, providing proper medical and medical services, providing clean water, taking care not to spoil food, not eating open or spoiled food, creating a clean environment, avoiding crowding in camps, where earthquake victims remain; and proper ventilation of the premises. “It is important to prevent the spread of infections,” he said.

Infectious Diseases and Microbiology Specialist at VM Medical Park Samsun Hospital. prof. Dr. Hakan Leblebicioglu gave information on how to deal with the risk of infection after the earthquake. prof. Dr. Hakan Leblebicioglu, “After the earthquake, unsanitary conditions as a result of factors such as the collapse of buildings in which people live, people under rubble, lack of personal hygiene, the need for shelter in crowded places, lack of food and water resources, damage to water resources (mixing with sewage) can lead to infection. In addition, factors such as the outbreak of infectious diseases endemic in the disaster area create prerequisites for the development of infections. Climatic conditions are also an important factor in the spread of infections.

Most common infections

Stating that the combination of the earthquake and its associated primary and secondary effects, the physical characteristics of the affected area and the socio-economic characteristics of the affected communities, Prof. Dr. Hakan Leblebicioglu said: “Infectious diseases reported in areas where earthquakes occur can be classified as respiratory tract infections, food and water related diseases, vector-borne diseases, and wound and skin infections. Among the infections, the most common are bacterial infections such as tetanus, salmonellosis, shigellosis and typhoid fever, viral infections such as rabies or hepatitis, and respiratory infections such as tuberculosis. These diseases can result from contamination of clean water and food sources, living in unsanitary conditions, and contact with sick people. Factors such as after a natural disaster, overcrowding in shelters, lack of ventilation, and malnutrition can all contribute to the spread of transmissible infections. These infections can include illnesses such as influenza, Covid-19, measles, meningitis, tuberculosis, and scabies. Contamination of water and food can be a consequence of the deterioration of sanitary and hygienic conditions.

Dirty wounds can increase the risk

Pointing out that outbreaks of diarrhea can occur in shelter camps after natural disasters or in places where sanitation is not fully maintained and access to water is difficult, Prof. Dr. Hakan Leblebicioglu said: “Microorganisms causing these epidemics include Salmonella enterica, Vibrio cholerae and norovirus. Leptospirosis is another disease seen among post-disaster infections. Leptospirosis is caused by contact with water, food, or soil contaminated with the urine of infected animals. After being bitten by animals, there is a risk of contracting rabies. After the earthquake, most of the victims removed from the rubble require urgent surgical intervention and resuscitation support. These casualties may have dirty wounds, which may increase the risk of patients becoming infected. Antibiotic prophylaxis used for dirty wounds can lead to the emergence of resistant organisms. Distribute vaccines in a hygienic manner, provide proper medical and medical services, provide clean water, take care not to spoil food, avoid eating open or spoiled food, create a clean environment, and avoid crowding in camps where victims of the disease are sheltering. earthquakes, and adequate indoor ventilation is essential to prevent the spread of infections,” he said.

Hygiene measures should be followed after an earthquake.

Emphasizing that it is important to prevent diseases such as tetanus, measles and rubella, it is important that people are fully vaccinated and, if necessary, additional doses. Dr. Hakan Leblebicioglu said: “Ensuring victims have access to emergency response and treatment services prevents infections from occurring and an increase in the need for treatment. Educating victims about healthy lifestyles and hygiene after an earthquake can reduce the occurrence and transmission of infections. Most of our wounded, extracted from the dent, need urgent surgical intervention and resuscitation support. In addition, patients with infected wounds may be at increased risk of infection. Therefore, it is very important to pay attention to hygiene and cleanliness. Earthquake relief workers should prioritize hygiene measures. Persons in contact with open wounds, secretions and mucous membranes of patients should use gloves. Hands should be disinfected with alcohol-based hand sanitizer or washed with soap and water before donning and removing gloves. Gloves must be changed if the patient is to be transferred to another patient. In short, following an earthquake will reduce the risk of infection and speed up the recovery of patients. For this reason, all earthquake relief teams must help the sick recover while maintaining good hygiene. Thus, in the post-disaster period, it is very important to take precautionary measures such as paying attention to hygiene and health issues, providing a suitable living environment, and having hygienic food and water resources.

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