Assessment of Health Complaints among Pediatric Residents
of FEMA-Supplied Trailers and Mobile Homes in Hancock County, Mississippi
In response to pediatricians’ reports of increased visits for respiratory illnesses among children
living in FEMA-supplied trailers and mobile homes in Hancock County, Mississippi, after
Hurricane Katrina, the Mississippi State Department of Health requested CDC’s assistance in
conducting a case series investigation to compare the proportion of visits with indoor air quality
(IAQ) -related diagnoses before and after the hurricane and to characterize these proportions with
regard to trailer or mobile home occupancy. This report summarizes the results of that
Data collection for this investigation had two components:
1) chart abstraction to obtain medical information on health care visits from each of five major
health care providers (one hospital and four pediatric practices), and
2) telephone interviews to obtain information from parents/guardians about trailer or mobile
home occupancy after Hurricane Katrina and on place of primary residence.
Medical records were selected for abstraction if:
1) the child was aged 2 to 12 years at the start of the study (August 29, 2004);
2) the child had at least one health care visit potentially related to an indoor air quality (IAQ)
issue before Hurricane Katrina (August 29, 2004, to August 28, 2005); and
3) the child resided in Hancock County.
A child was included in the study if a parent/guardian completed the telephone interview and
confirmed the child’s primary residence in Hancock County for the total study period (both before
and after Hurricane Katrina from August 29, 2004 to August 28, 2007). Each of the five health care
facilities had at least some medical records that had not been destroyed and were included.
Investigators reviewed 934 records, some from each facility, and found records for 264 (28%)
children that met the criteria for chart abstraction and t