Global & Disaster Medicine

Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands Need Urgent Aid Now to Avert Public Health Crises


“…..Infectious disease risks in the wake of these hurricanes include exposures to waterborne pathogens, the spread of infections in crowded shelters, food-borne illnesses, mosquito-borne infections and mold-related illnesses. Reliable access to medicines for patients with HIV and tuberculosis is also critical to preventing treatment disruptions that increase patients’ risks of serious illness, disease progression, and to avoid the emergence of drug-resistance or transmission of these infections.  Health workers in the affected areas struggle with shortages of antibiotics and hydration solutions, and they are bracing for potential infectious disease outbreaks.  Ensuring that basic needs are met including access to clean water, safe food and sanitation as essential for infection control. …..”

Pinpointing Where the Lights Went Out in Puerto Rico

The images above show lighting around San Juan, capital of the commonwealth; the images below show the entire island. One image in each pair shows a typical night before Maria made landfall, based upon cloud-free and low moonlight conditions; the second image is a composite that shows light detected by VIIRS on the nights of September 27 and 28, 2017. By compositing two nights, the image has fewer clouds blocking the view. (Note: some clouds still blocked light emissions during the two nights, especially across southeastern and western Puerto Rico.) The images above show widespread outages around San Juan, including key hospital and transportation infrastructure.



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