BACKGROUND: Climate change could increase the number of regions affected by meteorologic disasters. Meteorologic disasters can increase the risk of infectious disease outbreaks, including waterborne and foodborne diseases. Although many outbreaks of waterborne diseases after single disasters have been analyzed, there have not been sufficient studies reporting comprehensive analyses of cases occurring during long-term surveillance after multiple disasters, which could provide evidence of whether meteorologic disasters cause infectious disease outbreaks. OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to assess the nationwide short-term changes in waterborne and foodborne disease incidences after a meteorologic disaster. METHODS: We analyzed cases after all 65 floods and typhoons between 2001 and 2009 using the Korean National Emergency Management Agency's reports. Based on these data, we compared the weekly incidences of Vibrio vulnificus septicemia (VVS), shigellosis, typhoid fever, and paratyphoid fever before, during, and after the disasters, using multivariate Poisson regression models. We also analyzed the interactions between disaster characteristics and the relative risk of each disease. FINDINGS: Compared with predisaster incidences, the incidences of VVS and shigellosis were 2.49-fold (95% confidence interval, 1.47-4.22) and 3.10-fold (95% confidence interval, 1.21-7.92) higher, respectively, the second week after the disaster. The incidences of VVS and shigellosis peaked the second week postdisaster and subsequently decreased. The risks of typhoid and paratyphoid fever did not significantly increase throughout the 4 weeks postdisaster. The daily average precipitation interacted with VVS and shigellosis incidences, whereas disaster type only interacted with VVS incidence patterns. CONCLUSIONS: The incidences of VVS and shigellosis were associated with meteorologic disasters, and disaster characteristics were associated with the disease incidence patterns postdisaster. These findings provide important comprehensive evidence to develop and support policies for managing and protecting public health after meteorologic disasters.
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