Deadly Disease Outbreaks Threaten Gaza Civilians Amid Israel-Hamas War

Experts warn that the ongoing Israel-Hamas war will put thousands of Gaza civilians at risk of contracting deadly diseases. In Gaza, civilians struggle to find access to clean water, food, sanitation and needed medical supplies. As a result, scarce supplies have only increased the outbreak of deadly diseases, according to various humanitarian and health organizations.

Overcrowded shelters, where many civilians have fled to try to find safety amid the Israel-Hamas war, also aid in the spread of many diseases.

Many experts now believe that the situation Gaza civilians find themselves in will likely only continue to worsen.

After the terrorist organization Hamas launched an attack on Israeli civilians on Oct. 7, Israel quickly retaliated in Gaza. On Oct. 7, Hamas reportedly killed at least 1,2000 people, injuring thousands more. After this terrorist attack, the Israel Defense Forces reportedly killed at least 12,000 people in Gaza after launching an operation to destroy Hamas.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 1.5 million people in Gaza are now displaced as a result of the ongoing war.

Dr. Darien Sutton, an emergency medicine physician, told ABC News, “The people within Gaza, they not only have to protect themselves and their families from the constant violence that surrounds them and that is above them but also the disease that’s on the ground. All of which they have little to no protection for.”

The WHO says that an increase in cases of diarrhea, reparatory illnesses, chickenpox, skin rashes, scabies, and lice have been reported in Gaza since the conflict began in October.

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) says that about 95% of all residents in Gaza now have no access to safe drinking water. As a result, deadly diseases such as cholera and typhoid are inevitable, according to the IRC.

The WHO states that, without proper treatment immediately, people can die from cholera in less than a day.

Lack of functioning hospitals, sanitation, and supplies has made it harder for doctors to help stop the threat of deadly disease rampaging through communities in Gaza, according to these humanitarian organizations.

Limited border crossings on the Egypt and Gaza border haven’t helped bring the necessary aid to many in Gaza. According to Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director-General, about 500 trucks crossed into Gaza every day before the Oct. 7 attack.

Since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas conflict, “only 217 trucks have entered in total”, according to Ghebreyesus. As a result, WHO is asking for the border to be opened to more aid trucks on a daily basis.