Hurricane Dorian Is Gone. But the Bahamas Still Faces a Big Risk From Infectious Disease

Hurricane Dorian’s 185 mph winds and punishingly slow pace smashed entire neighborhoods in the Bahamas, killing at least 50 people. But now, Bahamians are facing a different kind of threat. The lack of access to toilets, clean water and medications puts tens of thousands at risk for disease, public health experts warn. Bahamians in the hardest-hit areas are already suffering from cuts and gashes caused by widespread debris and wreckage. But now aid groups are saying survivors are beginning to show signs of gastrointestinal issues from contaminated water. Those with chronic illnesses are struggling without access to treatment for chronic conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. And if water that the storm dumped on the islands remains stagnant and untreated for long enough, it could become a breeding ground for mosquitos, giving rise to diseases like dengue, chikungunya and Zika. “There’s a lot of downstream cascading effects people don’t think about,” Dr. Amesh Adalja, an infectious disease physician and expert at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, tells TIME. Previous disasters in the Caribbean have brought infectious disease outbreaks that wreaked havoc after the initial disaster. Cholera killed thousands in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake and and at least two dozen are believed to have died in Puerto Rico from a leptospirosis outbreak following Hurricane Maria in 2017. What are aid groups seeing on the ground? Heart to Hea...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized Bahamas Infectious Disease onetime weather Source Type: news

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