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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(12), 1516; doi:10.3390/ijerph14121516

Psychological Distress and Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya Symptoms Following the 2016 Earthquake in Bahía de Caráquez, Ecuador

Center for Global Health and Translational Science, SUNY Upstate Medical University, 750 East Adams St., Syracuse, NY 13210, USA
Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA
Department of Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology at Columbia University, New York, NY 10025, USA
Walking Palms Global Initiative, Bahía de Caráquez 131401, Manabí Province, Ecuador
Ministry of Health, San Vicente 131458, Manabí Province, Ecuador
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 November 2017 / Revised: 24 November 2017 / Accepted: 29 November 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Public Health and Disasters)
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On 16 April 2016, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck coastal Ecuador, resulting in significant mortality and morbidity, damages to infrastructure, and psychological trauma. This event coincided with the first outbreak of Zika virus (ZIKV) and co-circulation with dengue virus (DENV) and chikungunya virus (CHIKV). We tested whether the degree of psychological distress was associated with the presence of suspected DENV, CHIKV, ZIKV (DCZ) infections three months after the earthquake. In July 2016, 601 household members from four communities in Bahía de Caráquez, Manabí Province, Ecuador, were surveyed in a post-disaster health evaluation. Information was collected on demographics, physical damages and injuries, chronic diseases, self-reported psychological distress, and DCZ symptoms. We calculated the prevalence of arbovirus and distress symptoms by community. ANOVA was used to compare the mean number of psychological distress symptoms between people with versus without suspected DCZ infections by age, gender, community and the need to sleep outside of the home due to damages. The prevalence of suspected DCZ infections was 9.7% and the prevalence of psychological distress was 58.1%. The average number of psychological distress symptoms was significantly higher among people with suspected DCZ infections in the periurban community of Bella Vista, in women, in adults 40–64 years of age and in individuals not sleeping at home (p < 0.05). The results of this study highlight the need to investigate the interactions between psychological distress and arboviral infections following natural disasters. View Full-Text
Keywords: Zika virus; dengue; chikungunya; arbovirus; psychological distress; earthquake; Ecuador; natural disaster Zika virus; dengue; chikungunya; arbovirus; psychological distress; earthquake; Ecuador; natural disaster

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Stewart-Ibarra, A.M.; Hargrave, A.; Diaz, A.; Kenneson, A.; Madden, D.; Romero, M.M.; Molina, J.P.; Macias Saltos, D. Psychological Distress and Zika, Dengue and Chikungunya Symptoms Following the 2016 Earthquake in Bahía de Caráquez, Ecuador. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 1516.

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