Epidemiology of disease in natural disasters

Gilbert M Burnham

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Natural disasters are not commonly associated with large outbreaks of epidemic diseases, with the possible exception of flooding. Once a population is displaced by a disaster, the risks of epidemic disease rise. Natural disasters may affect the epidemiology of endemic diseases or chronic diseases present in a community through reducing or changing the access a population has to health services. Preventing or limiting the public health impact of a disaster requires an effective disease surveillance system that is a critical early measure to establish in any emergency. Acting on surveillance data can not only prevent or limit epidemics from developing, but is also a means of evaluating the public health response to disasters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series
PublisherSpringer Netherlands
Number of pages4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013

Publication series

NameEncyclopedia of Earth Sciences Series
ISSN (Print)1388-4360
ISSN (Electronic)1871-756X

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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