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Health Surveillance - State of Florida

UPDATE: This information is current as of September 3, 2010, 1:00 PM ET

Map of the state of FloridaFlorida 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 (August 8 – August 14)

During this time period, ESSENCE found one emergency department patients who reported touching the oil, swallowing the oil, or breathing fumes from the oil.

FPICN received eight reports of oil exposure during this time period.  Six of the calls came from Florida Panhandle counties, one of these calls came from counties outside of the Panhandle, and county location information was not available for one of the calls.

Six of the eight callers reported experiencing symptoms possibly related to their exposure, including rash, skin irritation, stomach and digestion problems, and breathing problems.

Four of these callers reported that their exposures were from breathing fumes from the oil, one caller reported touching the oil, and one caller reported swallowing the oil.

On August 9, a call was received by a partner poison center outside of Florida about three people in one Florida county who reported breathing fumes from the oil.  These people were experiencing one or more of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, throat irritation, headache, confusion, and pain in areas other than the eyes, skin, stomach, and intestines.  FPICN will follow-up on this report to determine if the symptoms are related to breathing fumes from the oil.

As of July 7, 2010, FPICN is receiving reports of oil spill-related exposures through direct calls to three regional poison centers and through reports from an external partner poison center. Florida has performed back-entry of the calls received at the external partner poison center prior to July 7; therefore FPICN currently contains all exposure calls placed from Florida related to the oil spill.

Previous Updates

Findings (August 1 – August 7)
Findings (July 25– July 31)
Findings (July 18– July 24)
Findings (July 11– July 17)
Findings (July 4– July 10)
Findings (June 27– July 3)
Findings (June 20– June 26)
Findings (June 13 – June 19)
Findings (June 8 – June 12)
Findings (May 24 – June 7)
Findings (May 16 – May 22)



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