While the unfortunate bush fire event has been going on for months in Queensland and New South Wales, the recently emerged incident in the east and northeast Victoria has directly impacted on the lives of many Victorians, even living hundred miles away from the focal areas.

Such a devastating affair does not only cause unprecedented level of damage to the society and economy, resulting from the loss of valuable lives of Australians, livestock, wildlife and infrastructure, the associated effects from the smoke can pose severe harm to one’s health.

The smoke from bush fire contains gases and very tiny particles. The particles are of minuscule size that can pass into our lungs, causing symptoms such as sore eyes, irritated throat, wheezing coughs, to potentially some serious health issues.

For otherwise healthy individuals, the impact should be temporary and mild in nature. For those with preexisting and chronic health conditions and specific groups of the general public, the consequences could be far more detrimental:

  • Heart conditions
  • Lung diseases
  • Restrictive breathing such as asthma
  • Pregnancy
  • Elderly
  • Very young children 

The best way to avoid any complications is to avoid being exposed to the smoke. If the air quality (which can be checked here http://aqicn.org/map/melbourne/) is poor, stay in doors and avoid any outdoor activities.

Face masks, more specifically P2/ N95 rated masks can effectively filter out very fine smoke particles. The masks cannot be reused and generally can be worn for 8-10 hours. Proper fitting is essential for the P2/ N95 rated masks to function as intended https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/factsheets/Pages/face-mask.aspx.

Ordinary surgical face mask may offer some relieve, if the air quality is at acceptable level.

 Asthma ‘puffer’, often can be of beneficial to temporarily help with breathing and wheezing, even for those who do not normally suffer from asthma, lung or chronic breathing conditions.

For chronic lung condition customers and those who suffer from asthma, the followings are strongly recommended:

  • Have inhaler technique checked
  • Using a spacer
  • Review asthma plan
  • Continue with preventer medications, and adjust if needed as per prescribed plan or discussion with GP

At Ramsay Pharmacy Melbourne CBD, we are committed to providing quality and professional services and advice. If you have any queries about how the bush fire disaster may impact your health, we are always available to provide assistance.

 

Ramsay Pharmacy Melbourne CBD

Shop 2, G07, 121 Exhibition Street

Melbourne 3000

9650 4265

melbcbd@ramsaypharmacy.com.au

 

For further information, here are some useful websites:

  1. Vic Emergency

https://emergency.vic.gov.au/respond/

 

  1. Department of Health, New South Wales Government

https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/air/pages/bushfire-smoke.aspx

 

  1. Health concerns related to Victorian bushfires, Victorian Government

https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/about/news-and-events/healthalerts/health-concerns-bushfires

 

  1. How to fit and remove a P2/ N95 respirator, Department of Health, Australian Government

https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/how-to-fit-and-remove-a-P2-N95-respirator