Smoke affects 40% of patients in Fraser Coast

September 6, 2017 by Awais Ali
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Asthma sufferers should revise their health plan regularly.

ABOUT 40% of patients seen by Dial A Home Doctor between Friday and Sunday had respiratory related issues believed to be caused by the recent blanket of smoke covering Hervey Bay.

Dial A Home Doctor area manager for Maryborough and Hervey Bay, Dr Aleem Khan, said 97 of 243 patients seen over the weekend suffered from chest infections, runny noses, itchy eyes, coughing and other respiratory related symptoms.

“We had many people with asthma, lung conditions and prior respiratory issues get in contact with us and there were lots of kids affected too,” Dr Khan said.

It followed a week of fire outbreaks and controlled burns including a fire in Takura, and vegetation fires in Dunmora, Craignish and Dundathu.

Since August 29 Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service have been conducting planned burns on Fraser Island with the fires to continue until September 30.

A QPWS spokesperson said the burn program would reduce the volume of forest fuels.

He said it would reduce the intensity of wildfires in the summer months and provide favourable conditions for natural forest regeneration.

“Smoke may be seen in the Southern Fraser Island area including around Eurong, Wanggoolba Creek, Ungowa, Dilli Village, Lake Boomanjin and Lake Birrabeen and in the Northern Fraser Island area from Awinya Creek on the west coast to the north of the island,” they said.

Anyone prone to respiratory issues should avoid leaving the house unless absolutely necessary.

“Keep your medications and asthma puffers handy,” Dr Kahn said.

“It’s best to keep all doors and windows to outside shut to prevent too much smoke getting inside.”

Dr Khan said there were long term effects to prolonged exposure to smoke but it all “depends on the individual”.

“Someone who has a pre-existing respiratory issue is in more danger of long term effects,” he said.

If anyone is affected by smoke contact your doctor as soon as possible.

For after-hours matters contact Dial A Home Doctor on 13 99 99.


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