Health Surveillance - State of Alabama
UPDATE: This information is current as of June 18, 2010, 6:00 PM ET
Alabama has implemented surveillance in coastal area emergency departments, urgent care facilities and community health centers. The system is designed to detect cases among people in the impacted area (Baldwin and Mobile Counties) who seek health care because they have signs and symptoms that they believe are oil-related. Exposure to oil, as listed in these reports, might not be the cause of a person's symptoms.
This system has two purposes: 1) to have a system in place to detect cases of acute (short-term) illness related to exposure to oil if they begin to occur; and 2) to track the healthcare system for increases in visits due to actual or perceived health effects related to the oil spill.
Alabama is analyzing these data daily so that response decisions can be made with the most current information.
Findings (May 23 – June 5)
In the surveyed facilities, eight patients reported that they might have swallowed, breathed, or touched the oil. Cardiovascular symptoms and worsening of breathing problems in those with previously diagnosed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) were among the symptoms reported by one or more of these patients.