Navigation Links
Hurricanes Katrina, Rita Left Skin Rashes in Their Wake
Date:11/20/2007

CDC researchers detail dermatologic conditions of workers rebuilding New Orleans

TUESDAY, Nov. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Workers helping to rebuild New Orleans after hurricanes Katrina and Rita suffered from several different skin disorders, and new research suggests that many of the rashes were caused by some kind of insect bite.

"Dermatologic conditions have always been really common, but a systematic investigation had not really been done in the past," said study author Rebecca Noe, a staff epidemiologist with the National Center for Preparedness, Detection and Control of Infectious Disease at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. "When I did a literature search, I typically saw people saying 'rashes.' It was really general."

The study was published in the November issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

After the devastation of Katrina and Rita in August and September 2005, scientists had a chance to delve deeper.

Twenty-two percent of diseases treated in the aftermath of the twin disasters were skin-related.

At the end of September 2005, members of the CDC were asked by New Orleans hospital officials to assist investigating an outbreak of skin diseases among construction workers.

A group of men repairing roofs on a military base had rashes so severe they couldn't continue working.

The CDC investigators looked at biopsies and examined the living situations of 136 workers who were staying in 11 screened-in wooden huts on the military base. The workers had limited sanitation facilities (the main shower trailer was out of order).

Fifty-eight of the workers, or 42.6 percent, reported rashes. Of these, 70.7 percent were examined, and 27 (65.9 percent) were found to have papular urticaria, basically a reaction to insect bites.

Eight (19.5 percent) had bacterial folliculitis, an infection causing inflammation around the hair follicles. Six (14.6 percent) were found to have fiberglass dermatitis, irritation and inflammation resulting from contact with fiberglass. Two (4.9 percent) had brachioradial photodermatitis, a reaction to sunlight.

Men who were sleeping in previously flooded huts were 20 times more likely to have developed papular urticaria and four times more likely to have a self-reported rash.

Native American workers were more likely to develop papular urticaria and fiberglass dermatitis.

The investigators never found the creature(s) responsible for the outbreaks, but they suspect that a mite infestation of the huts was responsible.

"Some sort of bug was in the hut," Noe said.

Whenever flooding or another disturbance to the ecosystem occurs, rodents and birds are displaced and mites are left looking for other hosts -- humans included.

The findings were consistent with what on-the-scene specialists saw. Dr. Richard A. Keller, a Mohs' surgeon at Ochsner Health System, returned to work the Saturday after Hurricane Katrina and was the only, or one of the only, dermatologists in the city for two or three weeks.

He saw several cases of skin infections that rumors circulating at the time attributed to some strange, Louisiana-specific disease. Instead, the problems were similar to what the CDC found: papular eruptions, poison ivy and photoallergic eruptions.

"We reassured everyone that this wasn't some odd disease," Keller said. "The big thing we did was dispel the rumors."

The CDC recommended that the men living on the military base be relocated to other sleeping quarters, get improved laundry and shower services, and use insect repellant.

"Lay people need to make sure, if they're going into their home that has been flooded, to wear repellant and, if you can, long-sleeved clothing," Noe added.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has health information related to hurricanes.



SOURCES: Rebecca Noe, staff epidemiologist, National Center for Preparedness, Detection and Control of Infectious Disease, Atlanta; Richard A. Keller, M.D., Mohs' surgeon, Ochsner Health System, New Orleans; November 2007, Archives of Dermatology


'/>"/>
Copyright©2007 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. One-fourth of HIV patients believe their doctors stigmatize them
2. Father and Daughter From Tanzania Receive Their First Medical Examination in Newport Beach
3. Teens need to see their doctors more often
4. Can brain-injured, partially-blind stroke patients regain some of their lost vision?
5. Scientists explain how insulin secreting cells maintain their glucose sensitivity
6. When Should Children Wash Their Hands?
7. UCLA/RAND study shows that many children of HIV-positive parents are not in their custody
8. National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) Members Take Their Case to Capitol Hill
9. Nurses describe dedication, frustration associated with their jobs
10. Hazards of using crib bumper pads outweigh their benefits
11. Their immune cells, fighting your cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Hurricanes Katrina, Rita Left Skin Rashes in Their Wake
(Date:3/27/2017)... ... March 27, 2017 , ... Buzzies parent company, The ... for Rent the Runway Foundation and UBS’ Project Entrepreneur. Mayo will present her pitch ... 8. , Project Entrepreneur’s second annual venture competition ignites bold ideas by providing ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... ... March 27, 2017 , ... Osteitis ... A type of groin injury, it occurs when the muscles around the pelvis ... in and around the lower torso, as well as accompanying tenderness and weakness. ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... ... March 27, 2017 , ... The Association of Healthcare ... will hold their first Northeast Regional AHVAP Meeting. For 2017, Dr. Hayes will ... chain and value analysis professionals have a ‘seat at the table’ with clinical ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... ... March 27, 2017 , ... ... announce the launch of a months-long rebranding effort. This includes the introduction of ... focus group discussions and market research, we learned that a simple, proactive approach ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... ... March 27, 2017 , ... Harris Communications, Inc., a leading provider ... its latest products to the Deaf Seniors of America Conference, April 4-7 at the ... meet with knowledgeable ASL friendly staff from Harris Communications and to try out the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:3/27/2017)...  iCAD (Nasdaq: ICAD), an industry-leading provider of ... for the early identification and treatment of cancer, ... Approval (PMA) from the U.S. Food and Drug ... concurrent-read computer aided detection solution for digital breast ... on the PowerLook® Breast Health Solutions platform.  ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... , March 27, 2017  Twist Bioscience, a ... synthesis, today announced that it raised an additional $33 ... of $166 million. "It is an ... expand our reach and continue to deliver industry-leading gene ... market segments," commented Emily M. Leproust, Ph.D., CEO of ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... 2017 Cota Healthcare, the leading ... medicine, today announced the signing of a ... to help improve clinical and cost outcomes ... part of this agreement, which expands significantly ... January 2016, teams from across Novartis Pharmaceuticals ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: