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Louisiana DHH Releases Oil Spill-Related Exposure Information

Tuesday, August 10, 2010 - 3:59pm

BATON ROUGE (August 10, 2010) - Three hundred and sixty-one oil spill exposure-related cases have been reported to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) since April 18, 2010, according to its tenth surveillance report released today. Two hundred and seventy-seven of those cases involved workers on oil rigs or workers involved in the oil spill clean-up efforts, while 84 were reported by the general public.

The Department is gathering data reported through its surveillance network of doctors, clinics, emergency care locations and medical facilities, which are reporting illnesses and injuries related to the oil spill for inclusion in its database. Each exposure-related complaint is followed up on by DHH Office of Public Health staff.This week's report also includes updated summaries of air surveillance data generated by state and federal agencies, including the EPA, the Center for Toxicology and Environmental Health, a private company working with BP and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.

Breakdown of Cases by Category:

  • Of the workers who reported illnesses, 245 were male, 32 were female. Of the general public, 32 were male, while 52 were female. Most of the individuals who reported illnesses were between the ages of 18 and 64.
  • Most workers and members of the general public either utilized an emergency room, hospital, an urgent care center, clinic or physician's office. Ninety-three individuals called the Louisiana Poison Center's hotline. Seventeen individuals with mild symptoms had short hospitalizations.

Questions about exposure-related illnesses can be directed to the Louisiana Poison Center: 1-800-222-1222. The Poison Center is staffed 24 hours a day and can provide medical management advice. To report an exposure-related illness, call 1-888-293-7020.

The full Oil Spill Surveillance Report is available here. The report is generated on a weekly basis by DHH and posted at www.dhhemergencynews.com.
 

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