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Flooding and health: Immediate and long-term implications 

Flooding and health: Immediate and long-term implications
Flooding and health: Immediate and long-term implications

Angie Bone

, Alan Wilton

, and Alex G. Stewart

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date: 20 November 2018

Flooding can happen at any time of year and anywhere in the UK, not just in communities living near rivers or the coast. As our climate warms, flooding is expected to occur more frequently, through a combination of sea-level rise and increasing rainfall. As floods are highly dependent on location and context, and the impacts are often complex, sustained, and diverse, a well-coordinated multi-agency plan and response is required. Flooding has extensive and significant impacts on health and wellbeing, including immediate effects (e.g. drowning, injuries, carbon monoxide poisoning) and delayed effects (e.g. mental health issues). The role of Health Protection is to provide scientific and technical advice to responders, public health communications, health surveillance, and to maintain its own business continuity. This chapter sets out the basic facts around flooding and health, illustrating the issues, actions, misconceptions and challenges during the acute response and longer-term clean-up and recovery phases.

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