An Evaluation of the Prevalence of Respiratory and General Symptoms among Occupants of Households Affected by Flooding in Guyana: The Case of Cove & John

Shanomae Rose ✉️  School of Earth and Environmental Sciences. University of Guyana –Turkeyen Campus. Greater Georgetown, Guyana. 

Muge Akpinar-Elci, St George’s University, Medical School, Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Grenada, West Indies.

Proceedings of the University of Guyana Faculty of Natural Sciences First International Conference on Sustainable Development, Aug 12 – 14, 2013  • Published: December 8, 2015

Abstract This study attempted to determine the prevalence of respiratory symptoms amongst occupants of homes affected by flooding in Guyana focusing on the area of Cove & John, East Coast Demerara. A total of 130 households representing 460 participants completed the questionnaire. This corresponds to a participation rate of 70% of households (n=130/185) and 82% of persons (n=460/562). The prevalence of upper respiratory symptoms stuffy nose, runny nose, sore or dry throat and sneezing was 5% amongst respondents. A positive association was found between the presence of less than 50% and more than 50% of mould inside the home and upper respiratory symptoms. There was an increased risk of stuffy nose odds ratio (OR): 3.86(1.34 – 11.17), itchy nose OR: 4.28(1.31 – 14.04), and sore throat OR: 6.15(2.35 – 16.15) for persons dwelling in homes with more than 50% coverage of mould compared to homes with less than 50%. A similar association was found between mould and lower respiratory symptoms; wheeze OR: 5.87(2.56 – 13.47), chest tightness OR: 4.72(1.59 – 13.97), shortness of breath OR: 4.55(2.02 – 10.23), and cough OR: 2.92(1.39 – 6.14). This study demonstrates statistically significant associations between home dampness and general symptoms and the presence of mould and upper and lower respiratory symptoms.

Keywords: Mould, Dampness, Respiratory symptoms


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