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

 

Quake Insurance: Reforms To EQC Act Announced

· Increasing the monetary cap from $100,000 (plus GST) to $150,000 (plus GST) for EQC building cover.
· Clarifying EQC land cover is for natural disaster damage that directly affects the insured residence or access to it... More>>

ALSO:

Reserve Bank: Official Cash Rate Unchanged At 1.75 Percent

Global economic growth has increased and become more broad-based. However, major challenges remain with on-going surplus capacity and extensive political uncertainty... More>>

Kaikōura Earthquake: Private Insurers Receive $1.8b Claims

Insurance Council Chief Executive Tim Grafton said most is for commercial loss at $1.36 billion, with residential claims amounting to over $460 million. “...We have a high level of confidence that most people will have received settlement offers by the end of this year." More>>

ALSO:

Forms And Data: New Proposals To Simplify Personal Income Tax

The Government is proposing to make tax simpler for individuals, with people whose only income is from a salary, wages or investments no longer being required to file tax returns to receive tax refunds or to calculate any additional tax. More>>

OECD: NZ Economic Expansion Faces Long Term Challenges

The OECD Economic Survey of New Zealand discusses the gap between the strong short-term outlook and long-term challenges posed by low productivity growth and a changing labour market. More>>

ALSO:

GDP: