Bushfire Smoke Alert 10.02.14

Released 10/02/2014

Acting ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Moira McKinnon today alerted Canberrans to the presence of a large body of bushfire smoke originating from Victoria currently affecting the air quality of the ACT and surrounding regions.

"Fine smoke particles are known to affect the human breathing system. These particles can cause a variety of health problems, such as itchy or burning eyes, throat irritation, runny nose and illnesses such as bronchitis," the Acting Chief Health Officer said.

"The smoke particles can also aggravate existing lung conditions, such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema, asthma and some cardiac conditions.

"People with asthma, other chronic respiratory and/or chronic cardiac diseases should not perform vigorous exercise and should stay inside if affected by the smoke. People with asthma in particular should continue their medication and consult their general practitioner if they have any difficulties.

"If you or anyone in your family is experiencing symptoms that may be due to bushfire smoke exposure, seek medical advice from your local doctor. Anyone experiencing difficulty breathing or chest pain should seek urgent medical attention by calling triple zero (000) for an ambulance.

"Due to the large number of active bushfires interstate it is possible that bushfire smoke may persist in the ACT for several days. Vulnerable persons should remain alert to the conditions and take appropriate precautions until the smoke dissipates and the ACT's air quality improves," Dr McKinnon concluded.

For more information about the health impacts bushfire smoke, visit: http://health.act.gov.au/publications-reports/fact-sheets/bushfire-smoke.

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Section: ACT Health Directorate | Media Releases

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