Health Department: Reports Of 400 Sickened By Gulf Waters Not True

July 8, 2010

After some media organizations reported that swimming in Escambia County’s Gulf waters had sickened 400 people in one week, the Escambia County Health Department has issued a press release disputing the information.

“Recent news stories reported that 400 individuals complained of health problems after swimming in Escambia’s Gulf waters for one week. This is incorrect. The 400 individuals reporting sickness were for the period of April 1 – June 22, 2010 nationwide to the National Poison Data System.

For Escambia county, we have the following reports. In Florida, individual cases of exposure to oil are not reportable to the Health Department. Clusters of patients with similar symptoms and exposures are reportable, and there have been no such reports related to oil to date. Our surveillance system includes reports of oil-related symptoms at one hospital emergency department, reports from the Florida Poison Control Information Network (FPCIN), and physician reports to the ECHD Epidemiology Program. For the period of May 10 – July 7, 2010, there have been five emergency department reports of symptoms that the patient felt were related to oil. For the same period, the FPCIN received calls from 22 individuals identifying themselves as Escambia County residents having symptoms they felt were related to oil exposure. The ECHD Epidemiology Program has received no physician reports of clusters of oil-related illnesses.


3 Responses to “Health Department: Reports Of 400 Sickened By Gulf Waters Not True”

  1. Jack on July 9th, 2010 2:23 pm

    ■To Lady in FL …
    I am in another state, far from the ocean. Here in the Mid West, we are having bronchitis/asthma symptoms around too. Maybe it’s the season, you know, pollination, mowing…

  2. Lady in FL on July 8th, 2010 12:37 pm

    Our pediatrician’s office nurse said they have had a huge flow of kids with bronchitis/asthma symptoms. Tell me this stuff is not toxic! My friends please stay out of the water and off the beach! It is so sad but necessary!

  3. anydaynow on July 8th, 2010 12:30 pm

    Who in their right mind is going to believe anything that the Escambia County Health Department says after they got caught lying to the public about the beach and water being safe? After all, wasn’t it “local health officials” that made the initial report of 400 people reporting being ill?

    Those of you who aren’t reading Pensacola Beach Blog everyday, too, you are missing a lot of information that isn’t making it into news reports.

    The Florida Panhandle really needs to circulate a petition with attached proposed legislation that would give the people the power to oust crooked, dishonest, public officials whether they are state/county/city/or federal employees, the CoC, or lying reporters that have designated time on the public airwaves. Really, people, we’ve gotta do something.

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