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NEW YORK (AP) -- A majority of ground zero workers screened for health problems 10 to 11 months after the terrorist attacks still showed lung, throat or mental ailments, according to preliminary findings released Monday.
The federal screening program found that 73 percent had ear, nose and throat symptoms, and 57 percent had lung problems.
Under the program, more than 3,500 workers who toiled at the ruins of the World Trade Center have been examined. The findings were based on a random sample of 250 people from the first 500 patients who were seen from July 16, 2002, to Aug. 29, 2002.
Dr. Robin Herbert, co-director of Mount Sinai Medical Center's screening program for World Trade Center workers, said the findings are alarming.
"Our preliminary findings clearly demonstrate the need for the immediate screening of the WTC responders, as well as the provision of medical follow-up," he said.
The program has offered free medical screening to anyone who worked at ground zero, including volunteers. It is scheduled to conclude in July.
(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)