Illness Due to Poor Water Conditions
Typically, any diseases that are brought on by lack of sanitation and hygiene are controllable and preventable. In a disaster where water sources are
compromised, people within a 50 mile radius could be adversely impacted by illness and disease if just one person incorrectly handles water or
incorrectly disposes of waste. Contaminated water, poor sanitation and/or lack of hygeine leads to diseases such as Hepatitis A, viral
gastroenteritis, cholera, Shigellosis, typhoid, Diphtheria and polio. If these diseases affect enough people, an epidemic will ensue.
Malnutrition from either improper water conditions or from lack of nutrients is also a large killer amongst those in impoverished communities. Medical
experts say there is a symbiotic relationship between malnutrition and diarreah. Malnutrition increases the severity of diarrhea while diarrhea can
cause malnutrition. Either way, prevention for both of these health issues is key.
Acute Respiratory Infections
Upper respiratory infections (URI) will also be a leading cause of death in a long term disaster. Upper respiratory infections include: colds, flu,
sore throat, coughs and bronchitis can usually be cured with additional liquids, rest and nourishment. Allowing the illness to exacerbate will lead to
secondary infections such as bacterial pneumonia. The germs from pneumonia are easily spread from an infected person to others by coughing or sneezing
or through close contact. A major concern about respiratory infections is that there are many drug resistant strands of viruses, bacterias and
diseases (including tuberculosis), that regular medicine will not cure. In a long term disaster situation, many could perish.
Infections From Wounds
Open injuries have the potential for serious bacterial wound infections, including gas gangrene and tetanus, and these in turn may lead to long term
disabilities, chronic wound or bone infection, and death. Antibiotics will be few and far between and will be more precious than gold. Without proper
medicines, antiseptic and knowledge on proper medical procedures, many will die of bacterial infections. Learning medical skills, gaining knowledge on
natural medicines and alternative medical antiseptic (i.e., Dakin’s Solution) before a disaster occurs could help people survive from wound
infections. Also, ensuring the area that you treat medical emergencies is clean and as sterile as possible may also prevent bacterial infections.
There is a lot of things you need to worry about when the SHTF. These 4 items I haven’t really taken in account and am going to have to work on
making ways of preventing them. Its just one more thing you will have to worry about when the SHTF. You wont have a Doctor to go to when you have a