313. Assessment of Sanitary and Infectious Risk Factors in Evacuation Centers after the Great East Japan Earthquake
Session: Poster Abstract Session: Assessing and Reducing Infection Risk
Friday, October 21, 2011
Room: Poster Hall B1
  • B1-313 Koichi Tokuda.pdf (2.8 MB)
  • Background: The massive earthquake (magnitude 9) and subsequent tsunami that occurred on March 11, 2011 destroyed many houses and healthcare facilities in the Tohoku region. Operational medical institutions were overwhelmed by the large number of emergent patients. Up to early May, many individuals had to reside in evacuation centers where water and electricity supply had not been restored. To prevent not only outbreaks of infectious diseases but also collapse of medical systems in devastated areas, we assessed sanitary and infectious risk factors in evacuation centers in the early period after the disaster.

    Methods: Between March 24 and April 1, we collaborated with the Miyagi Prefectural Government and visited evacuation centers to investigate the sizes and types of the centers, restoration of water supply system, sanitary conditions of living spaces and toilets, hygiene level of foods, and methods of health monitoring of evacuees, etc. using risk assessment forms.

    Results: We analyzed the data collected from 342 evacuation centers. The most common types of evacuation centers (about 70%) were large halls (gymnasiums, temples, etc.), followed by smaller halls (schoolrooms etc.). Maintaining a distance of more than 1m between residents was difficult in 65.6% of large halls and 48.0% of small halls. The status of hand hygiene and handling of foods was poor in evacuation centers where running water was unavailable. Lack of efficient leader to organize the residents’ efforts and delegate responsibilities such as monitoring residents’ health and cleaning toilets was prominent in large evacuation centers, where the number of residents having respiratory or digestive symptoms was higher.

    Conclusion: This survey suggested that the size of evacuation centers, restoration of water supply system, and presence of representatives to take charge of the situation were important factors to manage sanitary conditions of evacuation centers. Given the difficulty in reducing the size of evacuation centers and ensuring early restoration of water supply system after natural catastrophes, making persons in charge of monitoring sanitary and residents’ health conditions seems to be a preferable and feasible strategy to facilitate infection control in evacuation centers.

    Subject Category: N. Hospital-acquired and surgical infections, infection control, and health outcomes including general public health and health services research

    Koichi Tokuda, MD, PhD, MPH1, Hiroyuki Kunishima, MD, PhD2, Shiro Endo, MD, PhD1, Masumitsu Hatta, MD, PhD1, Hajime Kanamori, MD, PhD1, Noriomi Ishibashi, MD1, Kazuaki Arai, ICMT, PhD3, Yoshiaki Gu, MD, MPH2, Shinya Inomata, MD1, Tetsuji Aoyagi, MD, PhD1, Mitsuhiro Yamada, MD, PhD2, Miho Kitagawa1, Hisakazu Yano, MD, PhD3, Yoichi Hirakata, MD, PhD3 and Mitsuo Kaku, MD, PhD1, (1)Department of Infection Control and Laboratory Diagnostics, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan, (2)Department of Regional Cooperation for Infectious Diseases, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan, (3)Department of Clinical Microbiology with Epidemiological Research & Management and Analysis of Infectious Diseases , Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan


    K. Tokuda, None

    H. Kunishima, None

    S. Endo, None

    M. Hatta, None

    H. Kanamori, None

    N. Ishibashi, None

    K. Arai, None

    Y. Gu, None

    S. Inomata, None

    T. Aoyagi, None

    M. Yamada, None

    M. Kitagawa, None

    H. Yano, None

    Y. Hirakata, None

    M. Kaku, None

    Findings in the abstracts are embargoed until 12:01 a.m. EST Thursday, Oct. 20 with the exception of research findings presented at IDSA press conferences.