The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control warned of the risk of the spread of water-borne diseases, such as cholera, among the residents of the earthquake-hit areas in Turkey and Syria, in the wake of the earthquake that struck on February 6th.
The CDC warned that diseases transmitted through contaminated food and water, respiratory infections, and vaccine-preventable diseases pose a significant risk to residents of the earthquake-affected areas in Turkey and Syria due to the lack of proper sanitary conditions.
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It pointed out that damage to water and electricity infrastructure will lead to limited access to clean water, inadequate sanitation and hygiene facilities, and inadequate cooling, all of which help increase the incidence and transmission of food- and water-borne diseases.
Cholera cases are likely to rise in the affected areas in the coming weeks– a disease that has been a source of concern in northwestern Syria, where medical authorities have reported thousands of cases in recent months.
The center warned of the risk of the spread of viral infections such as hepatitis A, as well as infections caused by parasites or bacterial infections. It stressed that the availability of clean water is among the most important measures to prevent the spread of these diseases.
The CDC highlighted that inflammatory respiratory diseases are also a concern, especially in cold weather, as the risk of outbreaks increases when survivors are transferred to camps and temporary shelter areas with great overcrowding.
The center also highlighted the ongoing risk of COVID-19, seasonal influenza, and other respiratory viruses spreading at moderate to high levels in the region, with the young and elderly being more vulnerable to complications in the event of an outbreak.
The CDC also warned that the crowded conditions in temporary shelters could increase the risk of transmission of vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, chickenpox, meningitis, and polio.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.