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      Evaluation of the patterns of potentially toxic exposures in Mississippi following Hurricane Katrina.

      Clinical Toxicology (Philadelphia, Pa.)
      Bites and Stings, epidemiology, Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, Cyclonic Storms, statistics & numerical data, Disaster Planning, Disasters, Environmental Exposure, Environmental Pollutants, poisoning, Foodborne Diseases, Gasoline, Household Products, Humans, Mississippi, Odds Ratio, Poison Control Centers, Risk Assessment, Suicide, Attempted, Time Factors

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          Abstract

          To describe the changes in the frequency of selected toxic exposures reported to the state poison control center following Hurricane Katrina. The numbers of selected exposures reported to the Mississippi Poison Control Center at 0-2 weeks, 3-4 weeks, and 5-12 weeks following Hurricane Katrina were compared to those for the same time periods in the previous 3 years. Absolute numbers of exposures and odds ratios with confidence intervals were used for comparison. In the first 2 weeks following Hurricane Katrina, there were 44 reported gasoline exposures compared to 7 expected, 8 lamp oil exposures compared to 1 expected, and seven carbon monoxide exposures compared to 1 expected. Only gasoline exposures remained elevated in the second 2 weeks period following the hurricane. Lamp oil exposures were elevated during the 5-12 week recovery period. There was no increase in the frequency of exposures to household cleaning agents, food poisoning, pediatric exposures, drug-related suicide events, bites and stings, or venomous snakebites. The most common toxic exposures following Hurricane Katrina were related to the lack of typical energy sources, electricity, and gasoline.

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