What were some of the more notable medical illnesses and mental health issues that Katrina survivors faced?
Hurricanes Katrina and Rita impacted health and health care for the people along the Gulf Coast in a number of ways. In the short term, those with serious chronic illnesseslike diabetes mellitus, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and cancerhad significantly diminished access to needed health care and medications for periods ranging from months to years. Health care sites and systems for hundreds of thousands of people were destroyed, including the loss of millions of medical records, hundreds of doctor’s offices, and entire hospitals. Thousands of clinicians were displaced, and somelike their patientswere forced to relocate permanently to other areas of the country. Many who faced serious health consequences as a result of interrupted or delayed care were low-income and uninsured people. Because these interruptions prevented some patients from getting medications for transmissible illnesses, antituberculosis or antiretroviral medications, for instance, they threatened the h