altHurricane Patricia, made landfall as a Category 5 storm along the coasts of Jalisco and Colima at 18:09 on 23 October 2015, with wind gusts of 380 km/h. Today, it deteriorated rapidly to a tropical depression northwest of Zacatecas

  • So far, no injuries or deaths have been reported.
  • 1,782 shelters have been set up for 258,000 people in Michoacan, Nayarit, Colima, and Jalisco. Improving weather conditions have allowed much of the population to return to their homes.
  • The three bodies of the Mexican Government (federal, state, and municipal) are conducting assessments and monitoring the ground in affected areas.
  • Health services are rapidly going back to their capacity prior to the hurricane.
  • PAHO has activated the Institutional Response to Emergencies plan. Both the country office and the Emergency Operations Center in Washington, D.C. have been monitoring the situation and are in constant communication with health authorities in Mexico, and are assessing possible future risks due to the emergency.
  • The Mexican Government has expressed appreciation for the support provided by PAHO and the international community and their offers of help; however, local and federal capabilities will be sufficient to meet the needs and restore the situation.

 

SCENARIO

 

So far, no injuries or deaths have been reported. However, some people have been treated for minor cuts from falling branches and roofing materials.

First and second level medical units that were exposed are as follows:

Delegation

First Level

Second Level

Total Affected

Affected

Functioning

Affected

Functioning

Jalisco

7

7

1

1

8

Nayarit

21

21

0

5

21

Colima

7

7

3*

1

10

Michoacán

0

9

0

4

0

Total

35

44

4

11

39

Reported damages to the units were minor, therefore, hospitals in the area have been able to quickly recover their functionality.

The IMSS Zone 1 General Hospital IMSS and the ISSSTE Regional Hospital in Colima, whose patients were transferred to a hospital in Manzanillo due to preventative evacuations, are being cleaned to restore operations as soon as possible.

The epidemiological profile of the area includes vaccine-preventable diseases (rotavirus, whooping cough, chickenpox, mumps, hepatitis A). In 2015 so far, there are no reported cases of cholera or rabies, and only one case of leptospirosis was reported in Michoacan. There are no cases of falciparum malaria, and four cases of P. vivax were reported in Nayarit. However, other prevalent infectious diseases are typhoid and paratyphoid, salmonella, shigella, tuberculosis, rickettsiosis, geohelminths, and other parasites. Four states affected by the hurricane and other areas of the country are endemic to dengue and chikungunya.

State Committees for Health Security, and State and Jurisdictional Civil Protection sessions are active in Nayarit, Colima, Jalisco and Micahoacan, to perform damage assessments at all locations where there are health sector medical units.

Temporary shelters currently functioning

State

Temporary shelters

Shelter Capacity

Colima

33

2500

1335 hotels

Jalisco

114

15630

Michoacán

2

240

Nayarit

6

368

People are now going back home from the shelters and in other cases this possibility is being evaluated in other shelters.

Airports in Tepic, Puerto Vallarta, and Colima are operational and air bridges are active.

Most of the roads are now open and debris is being removed.

There are no reports of damage to seaports; ship operations will soon resume operations, except for small vessels that are still restricted.

The electrical company is working to restore electricity to all areas.

NATIONAL RESPONSE

To ensure the health security of the population, the Federal Ministry of Health arrived on Wednesday, October 21 in: Manzanillo, Colima, Puerto Vallarta, and Jalisco, with staff from the Epidemiology General Directorate (DGE), the Health Sector Planning and Development General Directorate (DGPLADES), the Federal Commission for Sanitary Risk (COFEPRIS) and the National Center for Preventative Programs and Disease Control (CENAPRECE).

Elective activities of external consultations and surgeries scheduled on the coastal areas of Jalisco, Nayarit, Colima, and Michoacan have been suspended. Patients have been sent back to their homes under strict medical supervision and personalized follow-up.

Hemodialysis support has been ensured in the four delegations.

The following units were preventively evacuated:

  • In Puerto Vallarts: San Javier Private Hospital, Zone No. 42 Regional Hospital and IMSS Family Medical Inpatient Unit, 19 and 170, ISSSTE Clinic Hospital, Tomatlan Regional Hospital. All patients in these facilities were transferred to different public and private sector hospital units in Nuevo Vallarta, Guadalajara, and Tomatlan, to ensure medical care.
  • COLIMA: In Manzanillo the IMSS Zone No. 1 General Hospital and ISSTE Regional Hospital were evacuated and patients were transferred to the SESA Manzanillo Hospital.
  • 25 mobile medical units (similar to FMT 1) and 3 emergency medical teams
  • 15 ambulances and 33 support vehicles
  • A naval hospital ship has been positioned in Manzanillo

19,226 doctors, 24,204 nurses, 650 health brigades, and 103 health sector workers are responding to the affected areas by performing the following functions: Coordination, Health Care Infrastructure, Psychology and Dentistry, Temporary Shelters, Epidemiological Surveillance and Laboratory Health Promotion, Vaccine Protection Against Health Risks, Vector Borne Diseases, and Human Resources.

The following teams have been deployed to the affected area:

Health Risk Protection Brigades are conducting health assessments in temporary shelters, as well as in the medical units, and water supply systems.

In the city of Manzanillo, health assessments are planned for supermarkets and purification plants.

EXPECTED RISKS

The main current risks include floods, mudslides, and landslides due to accumulation of moisture and water. Due to the epidemiological profile of the affected areas and because of the rain an increase in the number of mosquitoes is expected in the coming weeks, in addition to diseases transmitted by food and vectors, and skin and respiratory infections, and scorpion stings.

Health brigades are already working on vector control measures, so it is expected that the risk is minimal, especially for cases of dengue and chikungunya.

PAHO INSTITUTIONAL RESPONSE

PAHO activated the Institutional Response to Emergencies plan. Both the PAHO Country Office and the Emergency Operations Center in Washington, D.C. have been monitoring the situation and are in constant communication with health authorities in Mexico, as well as assessing possible future risks due to the emergency.

International Medical Teams offered support through coordination platforms and the FMT Global Secretariat. The EOC has maintained contact with them and their offers were channeled to the authorities in Mexico in case there had been any specific requests.

All FMTs have reported their availability and were on call in their countries until health authorities reported full national capacity to handle the emergency.

The EOC alerted regional health response teams to facilitate rapid deployment, if necessary.

PAHO continues to work closely with health authorities to support any collaboration for public health needs that may arise in the coming days will continue.

The Mexican Government has thanked the international community's support and offers of help, but it has been reported that from the beginning "the capacity of local governments and the federal governments were sufficient to meet the requirements to restore services back to normal".