Faculty Publications

Title

Post-Cyclone Sidr illness patterns in coastal Bangladesh: An empirical study

Document Type

Article

Keywords

Coastal Bangladesh, Cyclone Sidr, Disaster myths, Emergency and public health personnel, Epidemic, Illnesses

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Natural Hazards

Volume

56

Issue

3

First Page

841

Last Page

852

Abstract

After the landfall of Cyclone Sidr along the southwestern coast of Bangladesh on November 15, 2007, emergency and public health personnel within and beyond Bangladesh anticipated a massive outbreak of water-borne and other diseases in most affected areas. Fortunately, such an outbreak did not occur. The objectives of this paper are to examine the extent and pattern of illnesses experienced by Cyclone Sidr survivors in the aftermath of its landfall and to investigate household and individual-level factors associated with such illnesses. Based on face-to-face interviews conducted among 277 randomly selected Sidr survivors living in the four most severely impacted coastal districts, this study found that the post-cyclone incidence of water-borne, respiratory, and other diseases was not unusually high. Only 52 persons suffered Sidr-related illnesses, and their illnesses were significantly associated with household income, and gender and age of the Sidr survivors. A major outbreak of such diseases was largely avoided because of the proper distribution of food and safe drinking water, as well as the timely implementation of health care intervention measures. This important finding will aid relevant authorities in successfully responding to outbreaks of diseases following a future extreme event in Bangladesh and perhaps elsewhere. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Original Publication Date

3-1-2011

DOI of published version

10.1007/s11069-010-9595-5

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