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MMWR CDC Surveill Summ. 1992 Aug 28;41(4):9-12.

Surveillance in evacuation camps after the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, Philippines.

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  • 1Field Epidemiology Training Program, Department of Health, Philippines.

Erratum in

  • MMWR CDC Surveill Summ 1992 Dec 25;41(51):963.


To obtain accurate, timely data on the health status of persons in evacuation camps after the eruption of the Mt. Pinatubo volcano, the Philippine Department of Health (DOH) conducted a survey of the health needs of the evacuees and established disease surveillance in each camp. Surveys of the camps revealed that sources of potable water, sanitary means of waste disposal, and shelters were inadequate. Disease surveillance showed that measles, acute respiratory infections, and diarrhea were the most important problems. Surveillance detected outbreaks of measles and an outbreak of vomiting and diarrhea in the camps. Deaths, primarily caused by measles (31%), diarrhea (29%), and respiratory infections (22%), totaled 349 in the first 12 weeks. Death rates peaked in the seventh week, when a death rate of 26/10,000 occurred among the Aetas, a tribe evacuated from the slopes of the volcano. The surveys guided the DOH in allocating supplies and medicine, while disease surveillance enabled disaster managers to monitor the effectiveness of health programs, identify high-risk groups, and respond appropriately to the situation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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