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No school for Israel until rash clears

Oil spill sickens La Brea pupil

By Carolyn Kissoon carolyn.kissoon@trinidadexpress.com

Five-year-old Israel Regis was unable to attend school since the new term started last Monday as his body is covered with patches of red spots.
His mother, Tenesha Modeste, said her son also suffered a high fever and swelling in the throat.
The symptoms, she said, began after the mas­sive oil spill came ashore at Coffee Beach, La Brea, on December 18.
“My son went to school last week and the teachers saw how he was uncomfortable. They told him to stay at home until the itching stopped. Now, he has to miss out school until whenever this thing goes away,” Modeste said.
Her one-year-old niece, Anastasia Modeste, was also treated for an allergic reaction.
“People feel everything is okay here because they cleaning up the oil. But nobody really paying any kind of attention to us. I went to the medical facility Petrotrin has here but they give us a medicine that not working. I had to go and buy my child’s medication,” she said.
Modeste said her son will visit a dermatologist this morning. “The Petrotrin man here tell me to bring back the medical report for him,” she said.
Modeste was among several people in La Brea yesterday who complained of medical problems, arising out of the oil slick at Coffee Beach where about 20 families live.
Sharon Alleyne, another resident, said she also suffered an allergic reaction.
“They giving us food and jobs and we are thankful, but we are not satisfied with the medical treatment,” she said.
Mother of three Melissa Joseph moved out of the area after she fell ill last month. Joseph was treated at the Point Fortin District Hospital for a lung in­fection. She was discharged last Thursday.
Joseph said she was advised by doctors not to return to the community un­til the oil spill is properly cleaned. She is staying with relatives in Claxton Bay.
Petrotrin has established a makeshift me­dical centre at the La Brea Community Centre to treat affected re­si­dents. Petrotrin pre­-
sident Khalid Hassanali said on Monday that more than 200 residents have visited the faci­lity.
Hassanali said an ambulance was also stationed in the commu­nity for emergency cases.
• See Page 4
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