Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


UC research finds astroenteritis following 2011 earthquake

UC research finds significant gastroenteritis following the 2011 earthquake

November 13, 2013

University of Canterbury (UC) research has found significant prevalence of gastroenteritis in Christchurch following the 2011 earthquake.

Gastroenteritis leaped 14 times the usual levels over the 35 days following the earthquake compared to the same time frame in the previous year.

UC hazard and disaster management masters student, Sonali Weerasekara, also found key factors that appeared to have prevented gastroenteritis outbreaks at emergency centres following the earthquake nearly three years ago.

Her research looked at whether the large increase could be connected to liquefaction ground damage, infrastructure damage and the presence of gastroenteritis agents in the drinking water network.

A further aim of the study was to discover and analyse what prevented gastroenteritis outbreaks at emergency centres at Burnside High School, Cowles Stadium and Linwood High School.

The successful preventive protocols that were implemented at the emergency centres included prolific use of hand sanitisers, hygienic maintenance of the centres which offered drinking water, wastewater services, food, showers, social services and accommodation.

``There were no outbreaks of gastroenteritis recorded at these emergency centres following the 2011 earthquake. Despite populations being exposed to potential sources like E coli, this did not translate into a gastroenteritis outbreak. This suggested that the implemented protocols may have successfully prevented such an outbreak.

``I think this presents a success story that we can learn from and really further refine what we know works well, especially the practical protocols that have been tested and tried in the context of a low frequency, high consequence disaster like an earthquake.

``We can equally learn more from something that has worked great, as well as things that didn’t work and transport those lessons to other parts of New Zealand and globally,” Weerasekara says.

This research has provided an insight into the intractable nature of gastroenteritis prevalence following an earthquake. It forms the stepping-stone for amalgamating data to study infectious diseases in a post-disaster context.

Weerasekara has presented her results to emergency centre volunteering groups at Civil Defence. She will also present her findings to the Researching the Health Implications of Seismic Symposium in Christchurch on November 22.

She carried out her research at UC under the supervision of Dr Sonia Giovinazzi (civil and natural resources engineering), Dr Arin Basu (heath sciences), Dr Tom Wilson (geological sciences) and Dr Elena Moltchanova (mathematics and statistics).

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Xero Approves: No More Need For Written Signatures On Tax Returns

The passing of legislation that will allow Inland Revenue to accept electronic signatures will free up accountants and others from an outdated system. More>>

ALSO:

Budget Building Battle: Bill English Blames Council On Housing

The Nation: Finance Minister blames Auckland Council for housing shortage, saying it is responsible for land, housing and infrastructure supply in the city, while government provides rental subsidies... More>>

ALSO:

Megiaglommeration: NZME And Fairfax Apply For Authorisation To Merge

The Commerce Commission has received an application from Wilson and Horton Limited (trading as NZME) and Fairfax NZ Limited seeking authorisation to merge their media operations in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Brewing: Lion To Buy Cult Upper Hutt Brewer Panhead

Lion - Beer, Spirits and Wine (NZ), New Zealand's biggest beer maker, has agreed to buy Panhead Custom Ales from the family of founder Mike Neilson, its second such purchase of a popular craft brewer after the acquisition of Dunedin-based Emerson's Brewing Co in 2012. More>>

ALSO:

Half Empty: Fonterra's 2017 Opening Forecast Below Expectations

Fonterra Cooperative Group raised its forecast farmgate milk payout for next season by less than expected as the world's largest dairy exporter predicts lower prices will crimp production and supply will pick up. The New Zealand dollar fell. More>>

ALSO:

Pest Control: Mouse Blitz Team Leaves For Antipodes

The Million Dollar Mouse project to rid Antipodes Island of mice is underway with the departure of a rodent eradication team to the remote nature reserve and World Heritage Area. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news