Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Infectious Disease Frequency Among Evacuees at Shelters After the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami: A Retrospective Study

  • Takahisa Kawano (a1), Kohei Hasegawa (a2), Hiroko Watase (a3), Hiroshi Morita (a1) and Osamu Yamamura (a4)...

Abstract

Objective

After the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and tsunami, the World Health Organization cautioned that evacuees at shelters would be at increased risk of infectious disease transmission; however, the frequency that occurred in this population was not known.

Methods

We reviewed medical charts of evacuees who visited medical clinics at 6 shelters from March 19, to April 8, 2011. Excluded were patients who did not reside within the shelters or whose medical records lacked a name or date. We investigated the frequency of and cumulative incidences of acute respiratory infection [ARI], acute gastroenteritis, acute jaundice syndrome, scabies, measles, pertussis, and tetanus.

Results

Of 1364 patients who visited 6 shelter clinics, 1167 patients (86.1%) were eligible for the study. The median total number of evacuees was 2545 (interquartile range [IQR], 2277-3009). ARI was the most common infectious disease; the median number of patients with ARI was 168.8 per week per 1000 evacuees (IQR, 64.5-186.1). Acute gastroenteritis was the second most common; the median number of patients was 23.7 per week per 1000 evacuees (IQR, 5.1-24.3). No other infectious diseases were observed. The median cumulative incidence of ARI per 1000 evacuees in each shelter was 13.1 person-days (IQR, 8.5–18.8). The median cumulative incidence of gastroenteritis was 1.6 person-days (IQR, 0.3–3.4).

Conclusion

After the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and tsunami, outbreaks of ARI and acute gastroenteritis occurred in evacuation shelters. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2014;0:1-7)

Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence and reprint requests to Takahisa Kawano, MD, Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Fukui Hospital, 23-3 Simoaigetsu, Eiheiji, Yoshida, Fukui, Japan (e-mail maketenakunarakattenake@hotmail.com).

References

Hide All
1. Countermeasures for the Great East Japan Earthquake. National Police Agency website. http://www.npa.go.jp/english/index.htm. Accessed July 13, 2013.
2. The trends of the number of evacuees in shelters. Cabinet Office, Government of Japan website. http://www.cao.go.jp/shien/1-hisaisha/pdf/3-police.pdf. Accessed July 13, 2013.
3. FAQ: Japan tsunami concerns. World Health Organization website; March 21, 2011. http://www.who.int/hac/crises/jpn/faqs_tsunami/en/. Accessed May 27, 2013.
4. Furber, SE, Gray, E, Harris-Roxas, BF, Neville, LM, Dews, CL, Thackway, SV. Rapid versus intermediate health impact assessment of foreshore development plans. N S W Public Health Bull. 2007;18(9-10):174-176.
5. Centers for Disease Contol and Prevention. Surveillance for illness and injury after hurricane Katrina–New Orleans, Louisiana, September 8-25, 2005. MMWR Morbid Mortal Wkly Rep. 2005;54(40):1018-1021.
6. Green, JP, Karras, DJ. Update on emerging infections: news from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. notes from the field: fatal fungal soft-tissue infections after a tornado–Joplin, Missouri, 2011. Ann Emerg Med. 2012;59(1):53-55.
7. Waring, SC, Reynolds, KM, D'Souza, G, Arafat, RR. Rapid assessment of household needs in the Houston area after Tropical Storm Allison. Disaster Manag Response. 2002; September 3-9.
8. The situation of damage [in Japanese]. City of Ishinomaki website. http://www.city.ishinomaki.lg.jp/cont/10106000/7253/7253.html. Accessed July 10, 2013.
9. The flooded area of The Great East Earthquake and Tsunamis [in Japanese]. Geospatial Information Authority of Japan website. http://www.gsi.go.jp/common/000059939.pdf. Accessed July 13, 2013.
10. Watari town [in Japanese]. General Administration Division of Watari website. http://www.town.watari.miyagi.jp/. Accessed July 13, 2013.
11. McGeer, A, Campbell, B, Emori, TG, etal. Definitions of infection for surveillance in long-term care facilities. Am J Infect Control. 1991;19(1):1-7.
12. Junichirou, N, Yumi, I, Naoki, Y. The efficucy of common cold surveillance system at factory [in Japanese]. J Matsujinkai Med Assoc. 2011;50:17-24.
13. Turk, T, Latu, N, Cocker-Palu, E, etal. Using rapid assessment and response to operationalise physical activity strategic health communication campaigns in Tonga. Health Promot J Austr. 2013;24(1):13-19.
14. Shah, N, Abro, MA, Abro, MA, Khan, A, Anwar, F, Akhtar, H. Disease pattern in earthquake affected areas of Pakistan: data from Kaghan valley. J Ayub Med Coll Abbottabad 2010;22(3):81-86.
15. Yang, HY, Hsu, PY, Pan, MJ, etal. Clinical distinction and evaluation of leptospirosis in Taiwan--a case-control study. J Nephrol. 2005;18(1):45-53.
16. WMMR Weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report Pakistan. World Health Organization website; June 15, 2007. vol 81. http://www.who.int/hac/crises/international/pakistan_earthquake/pakistan_wmmr_23.pdf. Accessed July 6, 2013.
17. Akbari, ME, Farshad, AA, Asadi-Lari, M. The devastation of Bam: an overview of health issues 1 month after the earthquake. Public Health. 2004;118(6):403-408.
18. Hepatitis A [in Japanese]. National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Japan website. http://www.nih.go.jp/niid/ja/kansennohanashi/320-hepatitis-a-intro.html. Accessed July 8, 2013.
19. Hepatitis E. National Institute of Infectious Disease, Japan website. http://www.nih.go.jp/niid/en/component/content/article/865-iasr/4297-tpc407.html. Accessed July 8, 2013.
20. Scabies. National Institute of Infectious Disease, Japan website. http://www.nih.go.jp/niid/ja/kansennohanashi/380-itch-intro.html. Accessed July 8, 2013.
21. Leptospirosis. National Institute of Infectious Disease, Japan website. http://www.nih.go.jp/niid/ja/kansennohanashi/531-leptospirosis.html. Accessed July 8, 2013.
22. Yee, EL, Palacio, H, Atmar, RL, etal. Widespread outbreak of norovirus gastroenteritis among evacuees of Hurricane Katrina residing in a large “megashelter” in Houston, Texas: lessons learned for prevention. Clin Infect Dis. 2007;44(8):1032-1039.
23. Howe, E, Victor, D, Price, EG. Chief complaints, diagnoses, and medications prescribed seven weeks post-Katrina in New Orleans. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2008;23(1):41-47.
24. Barzilay, EJ, Schaad, N, Magloire, R, etal. Cholera surveillance during the Haiti epidemic–the first 2 years. N Engl J Med. 2013;368(7):599-609.
25. Tan, CM, Lee, VJ, Chang, GH, Ang, HX, etal. Medical response to the 2009 Sumatra earthquake: health needs in the post-disaster period. Singapore Med J. 2012;53(2):99-103.
26. Moszynski, P. Disease threatens millions in wake of tsunami. BMJ. 2005;330(7482):59.
27. Howard, MJ, Brillman, JC, Burkle, FM Jr. Infectious disease emergencies in disasters. Emerg Med Clin North Am. 1996;14(2):413-428.

Keywords

Type Description Title
UNKNOWN
Supplementary materials

Kawano Supplementary Material
Supplementary Material 1

 Unknown (2.4 MB)
2.4 MB
UNKNOWN
Supplementary materials

Kawano Supplementary Material
Supplementary Material 2

 Unknown (2.4 MB)
2.4 MB
UNKNOWN
Supplementary materials

Kawano Supplementary Material
Supplementary Material 3

 Unknown (2.3 MB)
2.3 MB
UNKNOWN
Supplementary materials

Kawano Supplementary Material
Supplementary Material 4

 Unknown (2.3 MB)
2.3 MB
UNKNOWN
Supplementary materials

Kawano Supplementary Material
Supplementary Material 5

 Unknown (2.4 MB)
2.4 MB
UNKNOWN
Supplementary materials

Kawano Supplementary Material
Supplementary Material 6

 Unknown (2.3 MB)
2.3 MB

Infectious Disease Frequency Among Evacuees at Shelters After the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and Tsunami: A Retrospective Study

  • Takahisa Kawano (a1), Kohei Hasegawa (a2), Hiroko Watase (a3), Hiroshi Morita (a1) and Osamu Yamamura (a4)...

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed