Public health emergency declared in Gulf Coast

(Washington-AP) August 31, 2005 - Federal officials have declared a public health emergency for the entire Gulf Coast.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff says the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina is "very dangerous."

Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt says his agency is concerned about potential disease outbreaks. He's urging residents of the storm area to boil water, follow food safety guidelines, and be aware of possible carbon monoxide poisoning from generators.

Medical experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are headed to the area.

Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta says his agency is working to restore highways, airports, and seaports.

Environmental Protection Agency director Stephen Johnson says anti-pollution standards for gasoline are being eased throughout the country until September 15th.

Posted 3:07pm by Bryce Mursch