Caution urged as smoky conditions worsen on the Fraser Coast today
The Fraser Coast is once again experiencing a large amount of smoke from the Fraser Island bushfires today and the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service is urging people to look after their health in these conditions.
While for most healthy adults smoke causes irritation such as itchy eyes and runny noses that will clear up once the smoke has gone away, for more vulnerable people it can cause more severe health concerns.
“Anyone who sees or smells smoke in their area should check for fire warnings and listen to your local radio station for updates, but more vulnerable people should also stay indoors with their closed windows and have their aircon put onto recycle or recirculate,” Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service Director of Public Health Dr Niall Conroy said.
“Children, the elderly, smokers and people with pre-existing illnesses, such as heart or lung conditions, are more sensitive to the effects of breathing in fine particles and can experience wheezing, chest tightness and difficulty breathing.
“Just because the smoke doesn’t appear to be thick or dark doesn’t mean it is safe as it’s often the microscopic fine particles in smoke, rather than the larger visible ones, that cause the more adverse health impacts.
“People with heart, lung, other serious conditions shouldn’t engage in any vigorous activities outdoors and should follow their standard medical plans if there is bushfire smoke nearby.”
Anyone experiencing any other health effects from the current smoky conditions on the Fraser Coast should seek medical advice from their doctor. Anyone having trouble breathing or experiencing chest pain should seek urgent medical assistance by phoning 000.
For other health information call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) at any time or contact 13 QGOV (13 74 68) to speak to the nearest Public Health Unit.
For the latest information on the Fraser Island fire check the emergency news at http://disaster.frasercoast.qld.gov.au/