During the night of 23-24 January 2009, Storm Klaus hit south-western France and caused power outages affecting 1,700,000 homes and stopping numerous pumping and drinking water disinfection systems. In France, medicalized acute gastroenteritis (MAGE) outbreaks are monitored by analysing the daily amount of reimbursements of medical prescriptions, registered in the French National Health Insurance database, at the "commune" administrative level. As AGE is suspected to be associated with perturbations to water supply systems as well as power outages, Storm Klaus provided an opportunity to test its influence on the incidence of MAGE in the communes of three affected French departments (administrative areas larger than communes). The geographical exposure indicator was built by using the mapping of the water distribution zones, the reported distribution/production stoppages and their duration. Irrespective of exposure class, a relative risk of MAGE of 0.86 (95% confidence 0.84-0.88) was estimated compared with the "unexposed" reference level. Although these results must be considered with caution because of a potential marked decrease in global medical consultation probably due to impassable roads, they do not suggest a major public health impact of Klaus in terms of increased MAGE incidence.
Auteur : Pirard P, Goria S, Nguengang Wakap S, Galey C, Motreff Y, Guillet A, Le Tertre A, Corso M, Beaudeau P
Journal of water and health, 2015, vol. 13, n°. 3, p. 737-45