Health Surveillance - State of Florida
UPDATE: This information is current as of June 18, 2010, 6:00 PM ET
Florida is using the ESSENCE (Electronic Surveillance System for Early Notification of Community-Based Epidemics) system, which tracks the symptoms reported by emergency department patients around the state, as well as data from calls to Poison Centers. The system looks for specific symptoms that could potentially be related to breathing, swallowing, or touching the oil. These symptoms include headache, nausea, vomiting, and skin problems, as well as issues with the respiratory and cardiovascular systems.
Florida officials are using these systems in six coastal counties to look for trends in the symptoms that could be potentially related to the oil spill. If they observe an increasing trend in these symptoms, Florida’s state and local departments of health will look to see if there is a relationship between the oil exposure and the symptoms.
Findings (May 24 – June 7)
On one day during the period, ESSENCE found an increased number of reports of chest congestion, sore throat, and cough. This increase was not judged to be related to the oil spill; it was related to an increase in diagnoses of hay fever, strep throat, and pharyngitis (inflammation of the back of the throat).
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
888-337-3569 (Florida Oil Spill Information Line)