BATON ROUGE—The Department of Health and Hospitals has received additional reports from other states about Louisiana residents who died following Hurricane Katrina. The latest revised reports show 480 total out-of-state-deaths. This is an increase of 281* deaths since DHH made its last report in February 2006.
The majority of the newly reported deaths come from Texas (223), a state that received a majority of Katrina evacuees. In addition, Mississippi reported 43 more deaths and Georgia upped its total by six. The full report can be accessed by clicking here.
According to Darlene Smith, Louisiana’s Vital Records Registrar with DHH’s Office of Public Health, these statistics are for deaths that occurred between August 27, 2005 and October 1, 2005, as well as other deaths that occurred outside the time frame that may be storm-related. In each case, the death certificates will be reviewed by DHH’s Office of Public Health staff before a definitive determination as a hurricane-related death is made.
“We have worked with the National Association of Public Health Statistics and Information Systems and other state registries to record these deaths,” Smith said. “We appreciate the time and attention they have given us in order to ensure that we can most accurately measure the human toll caused by Katrina.”
Dr. Louis Cataldie, State Medical Examiner, reemphasized that it will only be after further review of each out-of-state death certificate that a final determination can be made of whether or not the deaths are storm-related.
“Therefore, sometime in the future, these numbers likely will be revised,” he explained.