Gastrointestinal infections after earthquake

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Beşli Y., SANCAK B.

Microbiology Australia, vol.44, no.4, pp.193-196, 2023 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 44 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1071/ma23057
  • Journal Name: Microbiology Australia
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.193-196
  • Keywords: diarrhoea in resource-limited settings, diarrhoeal illness, earthquake, enteric pathogens, gastroenteritis, gastrointestinal illness, natural disaster, outbreak, public health
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Natural disasters such as earthquakes resulting in infrastructural damage in affected areas can also result in outbreaks of infectious diseases, with infections usually beginning within 4 days of the initial impact. Gastrointestinal diseases are prevalent due to the lack of food and water supplies. The rates of diarrheal illnesses following natural disasters are mainly influenced by the (i) endemicity of intestinal pathogens before the disaster, (ii) the availability of safe water and sanitation facilities, (iii) the severity of the disaster, (iv) the degree of crowding and (v) the availability of healthcare resources. Among the causative agents of gastroenteritis, viral infections are the most common ones, followed by bacterial and parasitic infections. Maintenance of sanitation and availability of primary healthcare are critical for early diagnosis, treatment and prevention of infectious disease outbreaks following natural disasters.