UPDATE: Louisiana Department of Health verifies additional hurricane-related deaths

Weather

(NOAA via AP)

BATON ROUGE, La. (KTVE/KARD)(September 2, 2020)(3:00 p.m.) — The Louisiana Department of Health on Wednesday, September 2, verifies two additional deaths tied to Hurricane Laura, bringing the state’s current death toll to 17.

A 36-year-old man and a woman in her 80s died of heat-related illness following the storm. Both deaths were in Beauregard Parish.

Below are details on the 17 deaths LDH has verified to date:
14-year-old female, Vernon Parish, fallen tree
51-year-old male, Jackson Parish, fallen tree
68-year-old male, Acadia Parish, fallen tree
64-year-old female, Allen Parish, fallen tree
Male, Calcasieu Parish, drowning
24-year-old male, Calcasieu Parish, carbon monoxide poisoning from generator
56-year-old female, Calcasieu Parish, carbon monoxide poisoning from generator
61-year-old male, Calcasieu Parish, carbon monoxide poisoning from generator
81-year-old female, Calcasieu Parish, carbon monoxide poisoning from generator
72-year-old male, Calcasieu Parish, carbon monoxide poisoning from generator
84-year-old male, Allen Parish, carbon monoxide poisoning from generator
80-year-old female, Allen Parish, carbon monoxide poisoning from generator
57-year-old male, Calcasieu Parish, head injury after falling from roof
One resident, Calcasieu Parish, carbon monoxide poisoning 49-year-old male
Rapides Parish, storm cleanup 36-year-old male, heat-related illness
Beauregard Parish, heat-related illness, 80-to 89-year-old female

People who are at the greatest risk for heat-related illness include infants and children up to 4 years of age, people 65 years of age and older, people who are overweight, and people who are ill or on certain medications.

Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness. A heat stroke can happen when the body’s temperature rises rapidly, the person’s body cannot sweat and their body is unable to cool down. Sometimes their body temperature can climb to 106°F or higher within 10 to 15 minutes. Heat stroke can cause death or permanent disability if that person does not get emergency treatment.

Here are the warning signs of heat stroke. They can vary but may include the following:
An extremely high body temperature (above 103°F)
Red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating)
Rapid, strong pulse
Throbbing headache
Dizziness
Nausea
Confusion
Unconsciousness

If you see someone or you have any of these signs, have someone call for immediate medical assistance while you begin cooling the victim or yourself.

Do the following:
Get the victim to a shady area.
Cool the victim rapidly, using whatever methods you can. (For example, immerse the victim in a tub of cool water; place the person in a cool shower; spray the victim with cool water from a garden hose; sponge the person with cool water; or if the humidity is low, wrap the victim in a cool, wet sheet and fan him or her vigorously.)
Monitor body temperature and continue cooling efforts until the body temperature drops to 101-102°F.
If emergency crews are delayed, call the hospital emergency room for further instructions.
Do not give the victim alcohol to drink.
Get medical assistance as soon as possible.


BATON ROUGE, La. (KTVE/KARD) (August 31, 2020 at 5:20 p.m.) — The Louisiana Department of Health on Monday verifies one additional death tied to Hurricane Laura, bringing the state’s current death toll to 15.

A 49-year-old man in Rapides Parish died from blunt force trauma while cutting down a tree. 

Below are details on the 15 deaths LDH has verified to date:

  • 14-year-old female, Vernon Parish, fallen tree
  • 51-year-old male, Jackson Parish, fallen tree
  • 68-year-old male, Acadia Parish, fallen tree
  • 64-year-old female, Allen Parish, fallen tree
  • Male, Calcasieu Parish, drowning
  • 24-year-old male, Calcasieu Parish, carbon monoxide poisoning from generator
  • 56-year-old female, Calcasieu Parish, carbon monoxide poisoning from generator
  • 61-year-old male, Calcasieu Parish, carbon monoxide poisoning from generator
  • 81-year-old female, Calcasieu Parish, carbon monoxide poisoning from generator
  • 72-year-old male, Calcasieu Parish, carbon monoxide poisoning from generator
  • 84-year-old male, Allen Parish, carbon monoxide poisoning from generator
  • 80-year-old female, Allen Parish, carbon monoxide poisoning from generator
  • 57-year-old male, Calcasieu Parish, head injury after falling from roof
  • One resident, Calcasieu Parish, carbon monoxide poisoning
  • 49-year-old male, Rapides Parish, storm cleanup

The Department of health also cautions you to have the proper safety gear when you are cleaning up, because it’s a big and dangerous job.

They suggest that you: wear the right safety gear, including hard hats, goggles, respirator masks with higher protection levels, heavy work gloves, waterproof boots with steel toe and insole (not just steel shank), earplugs or protective headphones if working with noisy equipment, and at least two fire extinguishers each with a UL rating of at least 10A. If sewage cleanup is involved, wear rubber boots and gloves and safety goggles.

Be sure to take care of yourself: 

  • Rest when you need to.
  • Decide which cleanup tasks are most important and focus on those first. That way, you’re less likely to be overwhelmed.
  • Get help lifting heavy or bulky objects. If you lift too much on your own, you could hurt yourself.
  • Try to work with other people, so you aren’t alone.

Anyone involved in storm cleanup should have had a booster dose of tetanus-diphtheria vaccine within the past 10 years. 


BATON ROUGE, La. (August 30, 2020 at 3:05 p.m.) — Louisiana Department of Health on Sunday verifies two additional deaths tied to Hurricane Laura, bringing the state’s current death toll to 14.

A 57-year-old man in Calcasieu Parish died from a head injury after falling from a roof. Another resident in Calcasieu Parish died from carbon monoxide poisoning; LDH will provide additional details as it verifies them.

LDH now has verified 8 Hurricane Laura-related deaths due to carbon monoxide poisoning—representing more than half of the total Laura-related deaths to date. 

Below are details on the 14 deaths LDH has verified to date:

  • 14-year-old female, Vernon Parish, fallen tree
  • 51-year-old male, Jackson Parish, fallen tree
  • 68-year-old male, Acadia Parish, fallen tree
  • 64-year-old female, Allen Parish, fallen tree
  • Male, Calcasieu Parish, drowning
  • 24-year-old male, Calcasieu Parish, carbon monoxide poisoning from generator
  • 56-year-old female, Calcasieu Parish, carbon monoxide poisoning from generator
  • 61-year-old male, Calcasieu Parish, carbon monoxide poisoning from generator
  • 81-year-old female, Calcasieu Parish, carbon monoxide poisoning from generator
  • 72-year-old male, Calcasieu Parish, carbon monoxide poisoning from generator
  • 84-year-old male, Allen Parish, carbon monoxide poisoning from generator
  • 80-year-old female, Allen Parish, carbon monoxide poisoning from generator
  • 57-year-old male, Calcasieu Parish, head injury after falling from roof
  • One resident, Calcasieu Parish, carbon monoxide poisoning

Portable generators should never be used indoors. This includes in a garage, carport, basement, crawl space or other enclosed or partially enclosed area, even those with ventilation.Gas-powered generators produce carbon monoxide which is odorless and colorless. Inhaling carbon monoxide can very quickly lead to full incapacitation or death.

Opening windows or doors or using fans will not prevent the build-up of carbon monoxide. If you start to feel sick, dizzy or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air immediately.

Generators should be placed outside, more than 20 feet away from the home, doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.

The generator should be kept dry and should not be used in wet conditions. 

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