Disease Protection in Sea Coast (and Inland) Cities: Problems in Dense Populations with Shantytowns/Slums

  • Frederic R. Siegel
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Environmental Science book series (BRIEFSENVIRONMENTAL)


As discussed earlier in this book, there are sea coast cities worldwide that are at risk from floods, storm surges, and extreme weather conditions such as wind-driven high category hurricanes (typhoons, monsoons), or drought and heat waves, plus along Pacific Ocean coasts, earthquakes and tsunamis. A municipality and its public health services have to be prepared to adapt to their preparations to deal with what contemporary experiences and history reveal are the most likely physical hazards and diseases to impact it. The two main preparatives are first to be able to care for the injured during a hazard event at well-staffed and supplied hospitals and medical clinics or field hospitals. The second is to fill the basic needs of affected populations with clean water, food, shelter, toilets, waste collection, and if necessary power restoration. These primary responses will help to reduce the chance of an onset and spread of disease. It is important to activate search and rescue teams help citizens isolated or trapped by the event that did not or could not evacuate such as in the case of extreme weather and flooding. In addition, where there have been deaths, bodies should be recovered and interred as soon as possible in order to prevent sickness that might originate from them. For instances of collapsed structures with people trapped inside, equipment that can move debris and rescue people or recover the deceased is necessary as would be the case for less common strong earthquakes as well as some extreme storm events. What was just described may be a good template to follow, but in reality, many sea coast cities in developing and less developed countries do not have the resources to cope with severe hazards that might impact them. Here, the World Health Organization and developed nations, large and small, have sent in personnel, supplies, and equipment to help an impacted sea coast city (or inland city) in the past and will surely continue to do so in the future.


Coastal cities endemic disease Location factor Natural/human influenced Infectious Non-communicable Prevention Treatment 


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© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frederic R. Siegel
    • 1
  1. 1.George Washington UniversityWashington, DCUSA

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