- 8944 cases of scabies and lice
- 1005 cases of chickenpox
- 12635 cases of rash
- 54,866 cases of upper respiratory infections
“As deaths and injuries in Gaza continue to rise due to intensified hostilities, severe overcrowding and disruption of health, water and sanitation systems pose an additional danger: the rapid spread of infectious diseases,” it says.
In the WHO’s assessment, the lack of fuel has led to the closure of desalination plants, significantly increasing the risk of bacterial infections that spread as people consume contaminated water. The lack of fuel also halted all solid waste collection, creating an environment conducive to the rapid and widespread proliferation of insects and rodents that can carry and transmit diseases, the agency explained.
The situation is particularly worrying for the 1.5 million displaced people in Gaza — especially those living in extremely overcrowded shelters, with poor access to hygiene facilities and clean water, increasing the risk of transmitting infectious diseases.
Another finding is the interruption of routine vaccination activities, in addition to the lack of medicines for the treatment of communicable diseases. “Limited internet connectivity and the functioning of the telephone system further restrict our ability to detect potential outbreaks early and respond effectively,” says the entity.
In healthcare facilities, damaged water and sanitation systems and dwindling cleaning supplies have made it “nearly impossible” to maintain basic infection prevention and control measures.
These events substantially increase the risk of infections resulting from trauma, surgery, wound treatment and childbirth. Cancer patients are at particular risk. “Medical waste management in hospitals has been seriously impaired, further increasing exposure to hazardous materials and infections,” he notes.