Workers involved in the effort to rid the Gulf Coast shores and wetlands of the oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill continue to labor in very hazardous conditions, including the high seasonal heat in the region. It wasn't long before workers started reporting flu-like illnesses related to their work. Now, WOAI in San Antonio is reporting that numerous people are presenting some new and "suspicious symptoms."
The report indicates that medical professionals are still "having trouble distinguishing [these illnesses] from the flu," but I rather think that a sudden and unexplained inability to tolerate familiar fragrances and medicines and foods might be a sign that something strange is going on:
The illness is called "TILT," or Toxicant-Induced Loss of Tolerance. Patients lose tolerance to household products, medication, or even food after being exposed to chemicals, like burning oil, toxic fumes, or dispersants from the spill.
"Things like diesel fuel, exposure to fragrances, cleaning agents that never bothered them before suddenly bother them," adds Dr. Miller.
TILT has been difficult to track because symptoms are similar to the flu. Currently, Dr. Miller is educating primary care doctors on how to spot and treat the illness before it gets worse. Though it's not contagious, the best cure right now is staying away from affected areas.
Apparently, pregnant women are especially susceptible to TILT, so if you're pregnant, you should do your best to not live in the Gulf Coast area, where oil will be on beaches and the toxic fumes from massive controlled burns at sea will be wafting through the air.
[Hat Tip: Florida Oil Spill Law]