No calm after the storm: a systematic review of human health following flood and storm disasters

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Floods and storms have differing effects on human health. There is a lack of data on the health effects of floods alone and on long-term effects.

A systematic review of 113 studies in a global range of countries (23 on floods, 89 on storms and 1 both) aimed to elucidate human health problems following flood and storm disasters, and to show where further research is needed. Studies used were of measurable health problems after meteorological disasters. Conditions covered included injuries and poisonings, infectious and parasitic diseases, noncommunicable diseases and chronic illnesses. Contact with health services and mortality were also studied. The results of the review show that health changes differently after floods and after storms. No articles reported sustained epidemics of any infectious diseases but there are long-term effects on management and continuity of care for chronic diseases.

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