Effects of Nuclear Explosions On Human Health - Long Term Effects - Infectious Diseases Resulting From Nuclear Attack

Infectious Diseases Resulting From Nuclear Attack

It was assumed in the 1983 book "Medical Consequences of Radiation Following a Global Nuclear War." that although not caused by radiation, one of the long term effects of a nuclear war would be a massive increase in infectious diseases caused by fecal matter contaminated water from untreated sewage, crowded living conditions, poor standard of living, and lack of vaccines in the aftermath of a nuclear war, with the following list of diseases being cited:

  • Dysentery
  • Typhoid
  • Infectious hepatitis
  • Salmonellosis
  • Cholera
  • Meningococcal meningitis
  • Tuberculosis
  • Diphtheria
  • Whooping cough
  • Polio
  • Pneumonia

However although what the authors describe are conditions already prevalent in many of the world's city slums, it is inconceivable why people would try to remain living in crowded conditions by reverting to slum lifestyles, during or after a nuclear war. As many cities would already be destroyed, with urban life, slum or otherwise, therefore serving no benefit to inhabitants.

There would be billions of disease carriers, in the form of city residents, lying deceased in cities caused by the direct nuclear weapons effects alone, with the surviving few billion people spread out in rural communities living agrarian lifestyles, with the survivors therefore posing a way of living far less prone to creating the crowded slum living conditions required for infectious diseases to spread. Moreover, as reported in a paper published in the journal Public Health Reports, it is also one of a number of prevalent myths that infectious diseases always occur after a disaster in cities.

Epidemics seldom occur after a disaster, and dead bodies do not lead to catastrophic outbreaks of infectious diseases. Intuitively, epidemic diseases, illnesses, and injuries might be expected following major disasters. However, as noted by de Goyet, epidemics seldom occur after disasters, and unless deaths are caused by one of a small number of infectious diseases such as smallpox, typhus, or plague, exposure to dead bodies does not cause disease...Cholera and typhoid seldom pose a major health threat after disasters unless they are already endemic.

Read more about this topic:  Effects Of Nuclear Explosions On Human Health, Long Term Effects

Famous quotes containing the words attack, nuclear, infectious, diseases and/or resulting:

    Scandal is an importunate wasp, against which we must make no movement unless we are quite sure that we can kill it; otherwise it will return to the attack more furious than ever.
    —S├ębastien-Roch Nicolas De Chamfort (1741–1794)

    The emotional security and political stability in this country entitle us to be a nuclear power.
    Ronald, Sir Mason (b. 1930)

    Paganism is infectious—more infectious than diphtheria or piety....
    —E.M. (Edward Morgan)

    A fiction about soft or easy deaths ... is part of the mythology of most diseases that are not considered shameful or demeaning.
    Susan Sontag (b. 1933)

    I think those Southern writers [William Faulkner, Carson McCullers] have analyzed very carefully the buildup in the South of a special consciousness brought about by the self- condemnation resulting from slavery, the humiliation following the War Between the States and the hope, sometimes expressed timidly, for redemption.
    Jimmy Carter (James Earl Carter, Jr.)