The historical development of public health responses to disaster


The first of a of series state-of-the-art reviews commissioned to mark Disasters' 21st anniversary, this paper considers key publications on public health aspects of natural disasters, refugee emergencies and complex humanitarian disasters over the past twenty-odd years. The literature is reviewed and important signposts highlighted showing how the field has developed. This expanding body of epidemiological research has provided a basis for increasingly effective prevention and intervention strategies.

Sarin poisoning of a rescue team in the Matsumoto sarin incident in Japan



A nerve agent sarin (isopropyl methyl phosphonofluoridate) was released in Matsumoto city, Japan, on 27 June 1994. About 600 people were affected by the sarin, including seven who died. Fifty two rescuers engaged in helping the victims and 18 were affected. The aim was to investigate how the rescuers were affected by sarin.


Health examinations and a questionnaire survey were conducted with all rescuers.


Long-term mental health effects of the Chernobyl disaster: an epidemiologic survey in two former Soviet regions



This study assessed the long-term mental health effects of the nuclear accident at Chernobyl.


Two population samples (N = 3,044), one from the Gomel region, close to the accident site, and one from Tver, 500 miles away, were studied 6 1/2 years after the event with the use of a variety of self-report questionnaires and a standardized psychiatric interview.