The Associated Press
Workers search for signs of washed-up oil as they walk along a beach in Grand Isle, La., on Thursday.
MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — The number of Alabama residents seeking medical care for ailments thought to be related to the oil spill is still rising.
Alabama Department of Public Health officials say at least 174 people have gone to local emergency rooms, clinics and urgent care centers since May 14 with ailments they believe are oil spill-related.
That compares with 67,429 patients treated for non-trauma care overall during that period. Most patients — 55 of them — say they were harmed through inhalation. Another 33 say they were exposed by contact, four through ingestion, nine patients reported multiple exposures, and 73 were exposed indirectly.
Indirect exposure can include exposures to oil or oil byproducts through contact, inhalation or ingestion.