Haiti faces series of health risks in quake aftermath

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) - Survivors of yesterday's massive
earthquake in Haiti are facing an assortment of heightened health
risks.

Experts say the dead bodies don't typically pose a public health
problem in the immediate aftermath. Rather, the big threats right
now include respiratory disease from inhaling the dust of collapsed
buildings and diarrhea from drinking contaminated water.

And Haiti's existing health problems could worsen. Medical
experts say disasters generally do not lead to new outbreaks of
infectious diseases, but refugees likely face greater risk of
Dengue (DEN'-ghee) fever, malaria and measles.

Hospitals and clinics have been severely damaged, and that poses
the risk of secondary infections. And people suffering broken bones
and other injuries may not be able to get the medical attention
they need and develop complications.

Experts also say the sight of dead bodies will exact a
psychological toll for a country already plagued by violence.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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