Opinion: Real-time data are needed to monitor health after disasters

Weather-related disasters like the millions of Floridians left without power by Hurricane Ian or the record monsoon rains that have claimed 1,500 lives in Pakistan have increased five-fold in the past 50 years due to climate change. Researchers need to be ready to respond quickly to climate-related and human-made disasters.

When investigating the health effects of a disaster like a hurricane or an oil spill on community members and cleanup workers, the most valuable information for researchers is timely health and exposure data from them. Those kinds of data, however are rarely gathered in real time, which poses a challenge to research teams and for the communities themselves, as they seek to learn how their health could be affected.

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