Bushfire smoke prompts health warning

Bushfire smoke across Sydney
If you have asthma or other lung conditions, avoid vigorous exercise and if possible, stay indoors.

Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) is urging people with respiratory conditions such as asthma to limit their time spent outside while hazard reduction and bushfires are burning within the Sydney basin.

WSLHD Public Health Unit director Dr Shopna Bag said people with asthma and other lung conditions should avoid vigorous exercise and, if possible, stay indoors with windows and doors closed.

“If you have asthma or a lung condition and you develop symptoms such as shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing, follow your asthma or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) Action Plan,” Dr Bag said.

“If symptoms do not settle, seek medical advice.

“Healthy people may also feel the effects of fine particles that can cause a variety of health problems, such as itchy or burning eyes, throat irritation, runny nose and illnesses such as bronchitis, so it’s wise to reduce prolonged or strenuous outdoor activities when smoke levels are high.

“Parents and carers should monitor children’s outdoor activities and bring them inside if air quality worsens.

“Air conditioned buildings can offer improved indoor air quality as the systems filter air coming in to the building.

“Healthy people generally find that symptoms will clear after the smoke disappears.”

In case of emergency always remember to dial triple zero.

For more information, visit the NSW Health air quality web page at: http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/factsheets/Pages/bushfire-smoke.aspx