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    Disasters can influence human health in many ways. The largest impact of disasters on human health lies in the injuries which occur from the event itself. The types of injuries associated with disasters are discussed later in the lecture. The remaining areas of concern lie in events which take place after the disaster. Natural and man-made disasters will often destroy sizeable amounts of property, including houses and farms. From a health perspective, one is concerned with the effect of having no she lter (environmental exposure) foremost. In the long-term, this is concern over the ability to feed the population affected adequately.

    It is quite common to hear many individuals raise the issue of an increased risk for communicable diseases following a disaster. Certainly, the environment may be right for a disease outbreak to occur. However, several reports suggest that this risk is generally over-estimated.

    Another area of interest is the mental health consequences of disasters. It is not uncommon for some victims of disasters to experience what is called “disaster syndrome”. The specific nature and pattern of this syndrome is not well defined. Most often the term is used to describe the segment of the population affected by depression and other mental health conditions arising from the disaster.

    Recent studies also suggest that mortality from NCDs may be increased in the period of time following a disaster event.