Health effects of the 2021 flooding in Limburg

Heavy rainfall caused flooding of the Meuse River in Limburg, the  Netherlands,  July  2021.This  paper presents a descriptive overview of short-term and intermediate phase health impacts that occurred  within  a  month  after  the  floods,  focused on (perceived) general health complaints and COVID-19 incidence.


Most questionnaire respondents reported an increase in psychological  complaints  such  as fear,  stress,  and  depression among  their patients directly and  one  month after the floods. Elderly and children were mentioned as specific vulnerable groups for  health  effects. The  respondents noted a clear relationship between the   extent to which people were affected and the occurrence and severity of the health  complaints.


The floods and subsequent disruptions have, according to health professionals, led  to higher numbers of reported psychological symptoms and may have caused an  increase  in  the  number  of SARS-CoV-2 infections in the region. Long-term health impacts of the  floods  have  yet  to  be  studied  but  would  have  to  consider potential secondary effects in addition to mental health and COVID-19.

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Source: Journal of Coastal and Riverine Flood RiskVol.2,2023, paper 4