Current Environmental Health Reports

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 99–107 | Cite as

Natural Disasters and Cholera Outbreaks: Current Understanding and Future Outlook

  • Antarpreet JutlaEmail author
  • Rakibul Khan
  • Rita Colwell
Water and Health (T Wade, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Water and Health


Purpose of Review

Diarrheal diseases remain a serious global public health threat, especially for those populations lacking access to safe water and sanitation infrastructure. Although association of several diarrheal diseases, e.g., cholera, shigellosis, etc., with climatic processes has been documented, the global human population remains at heightened risk of outbreak of diseases after natural disasters, such as earthquakes, floods, or droughts. In this review, cholera was selected as a signature diarrheal disease and the role of natural disasters in triggering and transmitting cholera was analyzed.

Recent Findings

Key observations include identification of an inherent feedback loop that includes societal structure, prevailing climatic processes, and spatio-temporal seasonal variability of natural disasters. Data obtained from satellite-based remote sensing are concluded to have application, although limited, in predicting risks of a cholera outbreak(s).


We argue that with the advent of new high spectral and spatial resolution data, earth observation systems should be seamlessly integrated in a decision support mechanism to be mobilize resources when a region suffers a natural disaster. A framework is proposed that can be used to assess the impact of natural disasters with response to outbreak of cholera, providing assessment of short- and long-term influence of climatic processes on disease outbreaks.


Cholera Natural disaster Outbreaks Precipitation Temperature Remote sensing 



This research is funded from a NASA grant (NNX15AF71G).

Compliance With Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

A.J., R.K., and R.C. declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Human Health and Hydro-environmental Sustainability Simulation Laboratory, Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringWest Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA
  2. 2.Center for Bioinformatics and Computational BiologyUniversity of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  3. 3.Bloomberg School of Public HealthJohns Hopkins UniversityBaltimoreUSA

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