Health Surveillance - State of Louisiana
UPDATE: This information is current as of August 4, 2010, 9:00 PM ET
Louisiana is using surveillance systems to track health complaints that may be related to the oil spill. These systems include:
- emergency departments,
- occupational, primary care, and urgent care clinics close to the response staging areas,
- Louisiana Poison Center,
- a hotline for people to call to report their oil exposures and health symptoms.
Louisiana’s Department of Health and Hospitals receives reports from these various sources, performs daily entry of the reports into a tracking database, and provides analysis of the data in a weekly report.
Louisiana is using CDC’s Early Aberration Reporting System (EARS), a surveillance system monitoring seven metro New Orleans hospitals, to assist local and state public health officials in analyzing data. Health authorities analyze information from these hospitals about each patient’s chief complaint (the problem that the patient first reported upon arrival) to determine whether there have been increases in upper respiratory illnesses and asthma in the region. Health authorities then compare this year’s weekly asthma and upper respiratory data with data from the past three years.
Findings (July 11 – July 17)
Since the oil spill began, there have been 290 reports of health complaints believed to be related to the oil spill. Two hundred sixteen reports came from workers and 74 from coastal residents. Seventeen people had short hospitalizations. The coastal residents’ complaints were related to odors, and symptoms were considered mild.
Results from EARS have not shown any increase in asthma or upper respiratory complaints.
Additional analysis of these data is provided by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.