Hurricane Katrina leaves behind a cough as well as destruction

In the wake of hurricane Katrina some survivors have developed a cough now dubbed 'Katrina Cough'.

A combination of the weather, dust from reconstruction and mould are thought to be causing the problem.

The cough which is described as a general upper respiratory irritation is affecting people returning to their hurricane-ravaged city.

The exact cause and the spread of the infection is unclear, but doctors says the trend is not a good sign, especially for people who already suffer from respiratory ailments like asthma, bronchitis and allergies.

Doctors and health workers say they have noticed more cases of coughs, rhinitis and asthma than is usual, but many feel it is because of a mixture of several unfortunate events occurring at once.

One doctor has said that the conditions not only affect allergic and asthmatic families who are living and working in those homes, but also construction teams, as the moulds can produce toxins and irritants.

New Orleans also has high levels of mould because of the warm climate.

It is unclear how many people are currently affected by the cough, but some estimate it to be around 25 percent higher than normal.

Apparently the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have begun a survey and are collecting data on the cough.

People with a history of significant asthma and those with weakened immune systems are being advised to not return to the city at this point.

Those who do come back, are advised to wear masks to protect themselves.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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