Bushfire Smoke Alert 04.02.14

Released 04/02/2014

ACT Chief Health Officer Dr Paul Kelly today alerted Canberrans to Bushfire smoke around the ACT.

A fire burning north of Cooma has resulted in a large body of smoke entering the atmosphere. Prevailing weather conditions have dispersed the smoke over 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 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," Dr Kelly said.

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

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