On September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks created a grave disaster that included the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York. The day after 9/11, epidemiologists were asked to assess the environment around Ground Zero for potential hazards that might put those engaged in rescue and recovery at risk of harm. Beside the dust, what toxins might be in the air? Was the air quality safe or should rescue workers wear canister respirators or particle masks? What other protections might be necessary in the days following the disaster?

 

In this Discussion, you will look at the impact of a disaster through the lens of an epidemiologist, addressing such questions as, “What epidemiological considerations arise in the wake of a disaster? And, what makes disaster planning or emergency preparedness effective in terms of mitigating or preventing negative aftereffects?”

 

  • Identify a disaster that led to a population health issue. Consider this disaster through the lens of an epidemiologist, using the information presented in the Learning Resources to examine the epidemiological considerations resulting from the disaster. Conduct additional research as necessary using the Walden Library and credible websites.
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  • Ask yourself, “What factors made the community’s and/or nation’s response effective or ineffective? What aspects of disaster planning or emergency preparedness did the community have in place that helped it cope with the disaster and resulting population health issue?”
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  • Identify the disaster and resulting population health issue.
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  • Describe the epidemiological considerations resulting from this disaster. Support your response with specific examples and evidence from the literature.
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  • Discuss the factors that made the community’s and/or nation’s response effective or ineffective.
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