July 8th, 2010
12:09 PM ET

CDC tracks health in Gulf, finds no trends yet

Surveillance data tracking illnesses and injuries related to the Gulf Coast oil disaster do not indicate any trends that require further public health investigation at this time, according to a web page established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC works with state and local health departments from the five affected Gulf states to monitor public health. It uses two national surveillance systems to track symptoms related to the eyes, skin, respiratory, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and neurological systems, including worsening of asthma, cough, chest pain, eye irritation, nausea, and headache.

One of the surveillance systems, called BioSense tracks changes in the population by accessing data from 86 coastal health care facilities in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.  Medical staffers are watching for possible syndromes that could be related to the environmental disaster.

The crude oil began to leak into the Gulf of Mexico on April 20 after an explosion aboard an offshore oil rig. Click here for CNN’s complete coverage of what's believed to be the largest oil disaster in history.

The CDC also answers questions about health effects.  Its experts say that the level of chemicals are  below the levels that could cause harm.  Here are more questions answered by the CDC regarding its possible health effects.

soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Augsbee

    Lets just wait a year or two when cases begin to pop up in Louisiana of people with lung problems and who knows what else. I can't imagine the people of Louisiana not being affected by the oil.

    July 8, 2010 at 13:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. sean

    How about those medical facilities set up by BP? Without allowing press access, without acknowleging whether they were, or weren't treating locals/workers..would they be part of this "reporting" process? Or are they treating victims to keep them "out" of the reporting loop!??

    July 8, 2010 at 13:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sharon

      You are absolutely right to be a little suspicious of the statistics when BP has set up a medical system outside of the facilities that would be reporting to the CDC and is blocked from press access. The CDC also said that ground zero was perfectly safe within a couple of days of 9/11 when everyone there was breathing asbestos and heaven only knows what. There have been numerous medical issues for the first responders and others that were breathing that air and now we are seeing the same thing in this man-made disaster. BP has said a lot of things, none of which appear to have any basis in reality.

      July 8, 2010 at 15:11 | Report abuse |
  3. IWantToBelieve

    Oh, CDC, I want to believe you, but I just can't. Sharon, thanks for the comparison to Ground Zero. How dare they hide the truth?

    July 8, 2010 at 16:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Smith in Oregon

    When I studied Medicine at the University of Oregon, we injected a small amount of the Rum we normally drank into a mass spec. chronograph we normally used in the chemistry dept. We found traces of a Tire Additive! Seems the company making that Rum had added used tubing formally used to process petrol-chemicals to make TIRES! Now making Rum for the public!!

    A Five Year study on Whale and Seafood flesh taken from samples all over the worlds Oceans found a high level of toxic elements Mercury, Lead, Titanium and Cadmium along with a dozen pesticides. The conclusion called into question 'How Healthy is it now to even eat Seafood'? The question of 'how safe is it', entirely depends on chemical and toxic compound percentages which the EPA sets the 'safe' levels as. Those 'safe' levels are decades old and many are obviously out of date and far from what others around the world would even consider 'acceptable' amounts.

    'Safe' is entirely debatable depending on 'who' specifically sets and rates permissible levels of toxic, poisonous compounds, pesticides and elements contained in what is being 'consumed'.

    'Healthy' is far less debatable, no amount of 'Mercury', 'Cadmium' nor many of the existing pesticides are healthy to consume at all. And when you eat Seafood regardless of the amount of toxic, poisonous crude Oil in that same seafood, it is very likely 'Un-Healthy'. Eating Mercury, Lead, Cadmium and a dozen pesticides with each bite is not healthy. Is it safe?

    July 9, 2010 at 03:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Mole


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    July 24, 2010 at 09:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Isabeela

    Liisa&all Toggl team, thank you! I hope you won't get too many people moinang that precisely during this hour they had to do some incredibly important time tracking .

    August 1, 2012 at 22:54 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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