WV Public Broadcasting Staff
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Fri June 27, 2014
Bureau of Public Health Releases Chemical Spill Data
The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources Bureau for Public Health released Friday information from physicians who reported seeing patients outside of the ER for symptoms possibly associated with the Elk River Chemical Spill.
The Bureau reached out to 800 health care providers across the 9 counties affected by the Jan. 9 chemical spill. Sixty three reports were submitted by physicians who documented seeing patients with complaints including itching and irritation followed by a rash, eye irritation or pain, vomiting, and coughing and wheezing.
The bulk of the complaints came in the first two weeks following the spill, and were gathered through the end of May.
The Commissioner for the Bureau for Public Health , Dr. Letitia Tierney, said in a news release that the information is consistent with what has been previously reported by the West Virginia Poison Center, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department.
Tierney said the Bureau for Public Health is continuing to compile and review data to better understand the health impact of the chemical spill.