Earthquake in Türkiye: Impact on Health Services and Infection Threats
1Department of Anesthesiology and Reanimation, Kahramanmaraş Sütçü İmam University Faculty of Medicine, Kahramanmaraş, Türkiye
2Department of Microbiology, Kahramanmaraş Sütçü İmam University Faculty of Medicine, Kahramanmaraş, Türkiye
3Department of Microbiology, Lokman Hekim University Faculty of Medicine, Ankara, Türkiye
4Department of Infectious Diseases, Lokman Hekim University Faculty of Medicine, Ankara, Türkiye
J Clin Pract Res 2023; 45(6): 549-557 DOI: 10.14744/cpr.2023.59244
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On February 6, 2023, Türkiye experienced two significant earthquakes with magnitudes 7.7 Mw and 7.6 Mw at 04: 17 Türkiye Standard Time (TRT) (01: 17 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)) and 13: 24 TRT (10: 24 UTC), respectively, centered in Kahramanmaraş. The study aims to review the immediate aftermath of these earthquakes, their impact on health services, and the potential threats of infection due to these catastrophic events in Türkiye. Eleven provinces in the southeastern region of Türkiye, as well as areas in the northwestern region of Syria, suffered severe damage. Aftershocks continue, though with decreasing intensity. Thousands of structures, including crucial infrastructure, were destroyed. Approximately 15 million people in Türkiye and 10.87 million people in Syria were severely affected. About 200.000 people were injured, and more than 50.000 people died due to the earthquakes. Roughly 500.000 people fled from the earthquake-affected region to western cities. The rescue operations were completed within two weeks. The earthquake and its aftershocks, compounded by winter conditions, left thousands of people homeless in the region. Intensive efforts were initiated to address the health care, medicine, shelter, nutrition, sanitation, and other needs of the earthquake victims. In the upcoming days, earthquake survivors may face significant risks of infections, including airborne, food-borne, and water-borne infections, as well as nosocomial infections from resistant bacteria and parasitic infections. Identifying the risk factors that underlie the emergence and transmission of communicable diseases can enhance the development and implementation of more effective preventive measures. Currently, safety, security, mitigation, and infection control activities are essential to help restore daily life in the region.