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Drought in Oregon

Drought and Health

Drought occurs when rain, snow and other precipitation are lower than average for an extended period of time. Oregonians are familiar with drought, but climate changes are likely to increase the duration and effects.

The health impacts of drought are numerous and far reaching. Some drought-related health effects are experienced in the short-term and can be directly observed and measured. However, the slow rise or chronic nature of drought can result in longer term, indirect health risks that are not always easy to anticipate or monitor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Health risks associated with drought

  • Drinking water quality and quantity
  • Vector-borne diseases
  • Air quality
  • Recreational risks (i.e. harmful algae blooms)
  • Impacts to sanitation and hygiene
  • Changes in access and affordability of foods
  • Mental and physical illness and disease
  • Economic impacts

Public Health Division programs and resources

Partner websites

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