Health Surveillance - State of Florida
UPDATE: This information is current as of July 6, 2010, 12:00 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, through the Florida Poison Information Center Network (FPICN). 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 (June 20– June 26)
During this time period, ESSENCE found three emergency department patients who reported oil exposure. Two patients experienced symptoms after cleaning the oil. Their symptoms included difficulty breathing, cramps, and rash. The third patient reported nausea and vomiting.
During the period, FPICN reported two calls related to oil exposure. One caller reported that they had touched the oil, while the other reported breathing fumes from the oil.
Findings (June 13 – June 19)
During this time period, ESSENCE found two emergency department patients who reported touching the oil. The two patients had one or more of the following symptoms: blisters and chaffed (irritated) skin.
During the period, FPICN reported ten calls related to oil exposure. Seven of the callers reported touching the oil and three of the callers reported breathing fumes from the oil. The callers reported having one or more of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, cough, dizziness, shortness of breath, diarrhea, and headache. Public health officials are following up with these callers to learn more about their symptoms and the oil exposures they reported.
Findings (June 8 – June 12)
ESSENCE found no increase or abnormal trends during this time period in the number of reports of the specific symptoms that could potentially be related to breathing, swallowing, or touching the oil.
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
888-337-3569 (Florida Oil Spill Information Line)