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News Link • Natural Disasters

Public Health Concerns in Typhoon Haiyan Aftermath

•, By Brooke Borel
  The government has confirmed 1,774 deaths, although the count is expected to grow, and it says over 6.9 million people have been affected and nearly 320,000 have been displaced. Other sources report even higher numbers.

What does this mean for public health in the Philippines? Is the country poised for disease outbreaks?

According to Glenn Morris, the Director of the Emerging Pathogens Institute at the University of Florida, the most imminent dangers are not from infectious disease, but from trauma: scrapes and scratches that may get infected, broken bones, and any other injuries sustained in the storm’s strong winds. People with chronic illnesses, the estimated 95,270 pregnant women in the typhoon zone, and those with other daily health issues are also a concern. The World Health Organization and other groups are trying to fly in medical materials, including mobile hospitals with surgical supplies, antibiotics, and other basic medications.  

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