• Vol. 34 No. 9, 582–585
  • 15 October 2005

Wound Infections in Tsunami Survivors: A Commentary



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Survivors of the December 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami sustained a variety of wound infections, ranging from common pathogens to rarely seen organisms. This article discusses the likely microbiology potentially seen in wound infections with exposure to freshwater, seawater, soil, faecal or other contamination, and attempts to provide an organising framework for choosing empiric antibiotics for such infections. Therapy for less frequently encountered clinical entities is also discussed, including tetanus, cutaneous and septicaemic melioidosis, post-traumatic mucormycosis, Vibrio vulnificus and Aeromonas hydrophila.

The Indian Ocean tsunami on 26 December 2004 killed over 225,000 people,1 but it had an impact on far more than the 12 countries directly affected. Indonesia sustained the heaviest toll with over 100,000 dead, but the Scandinavian nations also lost hundreds of citizens travelling in the regions struck by the tsunami.

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