Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2013

Document Type



Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Darin Toohey

Second Advisor

Jill Litt

Third Advisor

Dale Miller


This report investigates what physical, biological, and political mechanisms contribute to the observed increase in respiratory illness following the passage of a hurricane. No primary data was collected for this study, and all data presented in it was previously published by accredited scientific sources. The data used for this study is representative of large geographic and temporal scales, but a significant amount of the data comes from the Gulf Coast of the Southeastern United States during the 2005 hurricane season. Additionally, in this study, respiratory illness is generally classified in one of three ways, Acute Respiratory Infection (ARI), Upper Respiratory Symptoms (URS), and Lower Respiratory Symptoms (LRS). This report first establishes a positive link between hurricanes and respiratory disease and then offers several potential ways to minimize the increase in respiratory disease following future storms.