International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Wang, Kaiwen, Shuang Zhong, Xiaoye Wang, Zhe Wang, Lianping Yang, Qiong Wang, Suhan Wang, Rongrong Sheng, Rui Ma, Shao Lin*, Wenyu Liu, Rongqiang Zu, and Cunrui Huang



Background: Tornadoes are one of the deadliest disasters but their health impacts in China are poorly investigated. This study aimed to assess the public health risks and impact of an EF-4 tornado outbreak in Funing, China; Methods: A retrospective analysis on the characteristics of tornado-related deaths and injuries was conducted based on the database from the Funing’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Funing People’s Hospital. A change-point time-series analysis of weekly incidence for the period January 2010 to September 2016 was used to identify sensitive infectious diseases to the tornado; Results: The 75 to 84 years old group was at the highest risk of both death (RR = 82.16; 95% CIs = 19.66, 343.33) and injury (RR = 31.80; 95% CI = 17.26, 58.61), and females were at 53% higher risk of death than males (RR = 1.53; 95% CIs = 1.02, 2.29). Of the 337 injuries, 274 injuries (81%) were minor. Most deaths occurred indoors (87%) and the head (74%) was the most frequent site of trauma during the tornado. Five diseases showed downward change-points; Conclusions: The experience of the Funing tornado underscores the relative danger of being indoors during a tornado and is successful in avoiding epidemics post-tornado. Current international safety guidelines need modification when generalized to China.

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* Denotes CSDA Associates, Affiliates, and Staff