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The World in Medicine
March 16, 2005

Post-Tsunami Relief Efforts

JAMA. 2005;293(11):1316. doi:10.1001/jama.293.11.1316-b

Surveillance and control of communicable diseases and providing psychosocial support continued to be major focuses of relief efforts in countries in South Asia stricken by the effects of December's tsunami, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The potential for infectious disease outbreaks was a major concern in the days and weeks following the disaster. As of mid-February, although a tetanus outbreak in Indonesia's Aceh province appeared to be resolving, 247 cases of gastroenteritis due to suspected food poisoning had occurred in a camp in Aceh Utara. Cases of measles also had been identified in the province; about 144 000 children had been immunized and accelerated vaccination campaigns were planned. Plans were under way for a cholera vaccination campaign in Banda Aceh, one of the hardest hit areas.

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