BATON ROUGE—Three hundred and twenty-four oil spill exposure-related cases have been reported to the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) to date, according to its eighth surveillance report released today. Two hundred and forty-one of those cases involved workers on oil rigs or workers involved in the oil spill clean-up efforts, while 83 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 the ongoing 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. Seafood testing results, which were included in previous reports, will now be issued in a separate report to be issued on Tuesdays. The new seafood safety report will include detailed data on tests conducted on oysters, finfish, crab and shrimp harvested from Gulf waters.
Breakdown of Cases by Category:
Of the workers who reported illnesses, 215 were male, 26 were female. Of the general public, 32 were male, while 51 were female. Most of those 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 or hospital, or an urgent care center, clinic or physician's office (111 and 96, respectively). Ninety-one 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 will be generated by DHH weekly and posted on DHH Website.
For more information related to Louisiana's response to the oil spill, visit http://www.emergency.louisiana.gov. Connect with us on www.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter as @GOHSEP. View photos from the state's response efforts at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep.