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Impacts of Hurricane Matthew Exposure on Infections and Antimicrobial Prescribing in North Carolina Veterans.

Carrel M, Clore GS, Goto M, Kim S, Perencevich EN, Vaughan-Sarrazin M. Impacts of Hurricane Matthew Exposure on Infections and Antimicrobial Prescribing in North Carolina Veterans. Disaster medicine and public health preparedness. 2023 Mar 20; 17:e357.

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Abstract:

The impact of hurricane-related flooding on infectious diseases in the US is not well understood. Using geocoded electronic health records for 62,762 veterans living in North Carolina counties impacted by Hurricane Matthew coupled with flood maps, we explore the impact of hurricane and flood exposure on infectious outcomes in outpatient settings and emergency departments as well as antimicrobial prescribing. Declines in outpatient visits and antimicrobial prescribing are observed in weeks 0-2 following the hurricane as compared with the baseline period and the year prior, while increases in antimicrobial prescribing are observed 3+ weeks following the hurricane. Taken together, hurricane and flood exposure appear to have had minor impacts on infectious outcomes in North Carolina veterans, not resulting in large increases in infections or antimicrobial prescribing.





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