Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Doctors Warn of Health Threat in Chile

(CONCEPCION, Chile)Huge piles of wreckage and tons of rotting fish and other debris blanketing the ground are turning the coastal towns shattered by Chile's earthquake and tsunami into nests of infection, doctors warned.
As calls for medicine and shelter grew, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon flew into the heavily damaged city of Concepcion aboard a Chilean air force plane Saturday, following at least six moderate aftershocks. He was driven immediately to the city's ground zero, where a building had collapsed and a couple called out one last time to a missing son believed killed in the wreckage.
As Chileans lined up for hepatitis and tetanus shots Friday on the opening day of an extensive vaccination campaign, doctors said cases of diarrhea are increasing from people drinking unclean water and a growing number of patients are suffering injuries wading through the mess.
"We are going to keep needing water, electric systems, a functioning sewage system. We need to clean up rotting fish in the streets. We need chemical toilets, and when it starts raining, people living in tents are going to get wet and sick. All this is going to cause infections,"
said Talcahuano Mayor Gaston Saavedra, whose port city was heavily damaged by the Feb. 27 quake and tsunami....

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