Health warnings over smoke are issued by EPA

AUTHORITIES have issued health warnings over the blanket of smoke that has been generated by bushfires which continue to burn out of control in Wellington Shire’s north.

Older people, pregnant women and those with pre-existing health conditions are particularly vulnerable, and Environment Protection Authority chief environmental scientist Dr Andrea Hinwood said people who had been exposed to smoke in the region for several days or where it has been strong should try to find any space that offered respite, even for a short time.

“Those with pre-existing illness in particular should do what they can, follow their treatment plan, get some respite and if you are feeling unwell seek medical assistance.”

People older than 65, children aged 14 years and younger, pregnant women and those with existing heart or lung conditions should reduce prolonged or heavy physical activity.

Where possible, these people should also limit the time spent outdoors.

People with heart or lung conditions should take their medication as prescribed, and those with asthma should follow their asthma management plan.

Those who need medical advice for exposure to smoke should phone Nurse on Call on 1300 606 024.

Anyone experiencing wheezing, chest tightness and difficulty breathing should phone 000.

For live readings from EPA air quality monitoring stations in Gippsland, including Buchan in the far east where EPA has deployed a mobile air quality monitoring unit, visit AirWatch at www.epa.vic.gov.au/our-work/monitoring-the-environment/epa-airwatch.

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