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Memorias del Instituto de Investigaciones en Ciencias de la Salud

On-line version ISSN 1812-9528


IRALA, Sandra et al. Intensified disease surveillance during forest fires Paraguay, 2019. Mem. Inst. Investig. Cienc. Salud [online]. 2021, vol.19, n.3, pp.25-34. ISSN 1812-9528.

Smoke from wildfires can influence mortality, emergencies and outpatient visits, especially in people with respiratory and cardiovascular problems. Intensified surveillance requires adding up additional resources to routine surveillance activities. In August 2019, 25,299 fire outbreaks were registered in de various departments Paraguay. The findings of the intensified surveillance of diseases in the population affected by wildfires in Paraguay in 2019 are described. A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out between 08/15/19 to 10/4/2019 throughout the national territory. As a data source, reports from the Regional Epidemiological Units, organized in a database with the variables: department, district, indigenous populations, number of medical care, reason for consultation, seriously injured, missing and deceased people, identification of potential health risks. Twelve (12/17) departments and the capital of the country, 30 districts and 12 indigenous peoples were affected. One thousand six hundred and eighty-one medical services were performed, of which 1,291 (77%) were from Alto Paraguay. The most frequent diseases were non-pneumonia Acute Respiratory Infections (36%), and Influenza-like illness (18%). There were no injured, missing or dead people. Among the potential health risks: loss of dwellings in indigenous people, crops, livestock and the interruption of water supply. In conclusion, respiratory symptoms were the most frequent during the wildfires, there were no injured, missing or dead people. Potential health risks were identified due to the impact on livelihoods, especially in indigenous populations.

Keywords : environmental disasters; wildfires; intensified surveillance; Paraguay.

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