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Comparison of Waterborne Diseases in the United States Before and After Storm Events in 2017

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Alexandra Daverede

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Faculty Advisor: Dr. Barnali Dixon

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This research project involves using GIS to map the occurrence of four waterborne diseases after tropical storm events in the mainland United States during 2017. The four diseases chosen were Vibriosis, Giardiasis, Shigellosis, and Cryptosporidiosis. The number of cases before, during, and after the three hurricanes and two tropical storms that made landfall in the mainland US were mapped as well as the total number of cases. The average and the percent of the total cases that occurred during the storm event weeks were mapped for each state in order to compare between states that were and were not affected by the storms of interest. Analysis shows that Florida had a large increase in cases immediately after hurricane Irma compared to the two weeks before and the case volume decreased in the two weeks after Irma but not to the before hurricane level. Louisiana shows no increase in cases after hurricanes Harvey or Nate or immediately after tropical storm Cindy, however there is a slight increase in cases in the two weeks following Cindy for reasons unknown. There is also an increase in Vibriosis cases in Texas directly following Harvey that lessens but not to pre-hurricane levels in the two weeks following the hurricane. This research is significant for public health and can help doctors know what illnesses to expect after storm events particularly concerning Vibriosis and Giardiasis which can be difficult to diagnose.

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Comparison of Waterborne Diseases in the United States Before and After Storm Events in 2017

This research project involves using GIS to map the occurrence of four waterborne diseases after tropical storm events in the mainland United States during 2017. The four diseases chosen were Vibriosis, Giardiasis, Shigellosis, and Cryptosporidiosis. The number of cases before, during, and after the three hurricanes and two tropical storms that made landfall in the mainland US were mapped as well as the total number of cases. The average and the percent of the total cases that occurred during the storm event weeks were mapped for each state in order to compare between states that were and were not affected by the storms of interest. Analysis shows that Florida had a large increase in cases immediately after hurricane Irma compared to the two weeks before and the case volume decreased in the two weeks after Irma but not to the before hurricane level. Louisiana shows no increase in cases after hurricanes Harvey or Nate or immediately after tropical storm Cindy, however there is a slight increase in cases in the two weeks following Cindy for reasons unknown. There is also an increase in Vibriosis cases in Texas directly following Harvey that lessens but not to pre-hurricane levels in the two weeks following the hurricane. This research is significant for public health and can help doctors know what illnesses to expect after storm events particularly concerning Vibriosis and Giardiasis which can be difficult to diagnose.

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