Health Concerns of Wildfires

 Health Concerns of Wildfires

15 August 2009

published by

USA — The fire burning in Santa Cruz County is expected to continue to burn for at least another week.

The Monterey County Health Department is monitoring the community’s health through established surveillance with local hospitals and clinics. There has been no evidence of increased visitation to emergency rooms due to fire/smoke related complaints.

The Health Department encourages individuals with asthma to develop an asthma management plan with their physicians. An asthma management plan involves tracking symptoms to determine when to use additional medications or seek further medical treatment.

Those with other lung diseases or infections should contact their physicians to learn how to avoid serious complications that may result from forest fires.

Often people who have not been previously diagnosed with lung or heart disease may begin having problems in smoky conditions. Symptoms of potential lung and/or heart problems include chest tightness, chest pain, shortness of breath, or sudden, overwhelming fatigue.

People with asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, and other lung diseases should make sure they are on medication and have at least a five-day supply on hand at all times especially through fire season.

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