Health Officials Urge Residents To Stay Inside Away From The Heavy Smoke In The Air

The smoke can negatively impact on our health.

UNI Urgent Care, W. 7th St, Frederick.  (Photo From UNI Urgent Care)

Frederick, Md (KM The smoke from the wild fires in Canada can have a negative affect on your health, according to Dr. Jocelyn Apollan, the Medical Director  of  UNI Urgent Care. “It can cause coughing, increased respiratory  inflammation. It can affect the lung tissues. It can also affect the skin as well,” she says.

“They can get rashes or they can get itching sensations,” Dr. Apollan continues. “That can lead to a lot of scratching. And, of course, if you scratch a lot, and you open your skin, you increase the risk of infection.”

The smoke from the wild fires in  Canada, have been overhanging the region for the past few days. The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments has issued a Code Purple Air Quality Advisory for Thursday.   That means unhealthy levels for everyone  for the fine  particle smoke coming from the wild fires.

Dr. Apollan says it’s best to stay indoors today to protect yourself from the smoke, and keep the doors and windows closed.. “Try to avoid adding to the pollution inside by avoiding burning candles, using gas, wood burning stoves, frying or broiling meats, or smoking tobacco products,” she says.

Along with that, make sure children and pets are not exposed to the smoke. “This time of year with all of this going on, you don’t want your kids outside playing,” Dr. Apollan says. “Or if you let your pets out, let ’em out just to do their business,  and get ’em back in because they’re also exposed as well.”

But if you have to be outside, she says wear a mask. . “Type of mask they would need is an N-95 or P-100, a particular respirator. And they have be careful not to get overheated in that mask. Take frequent breaks and drink plenty of water,” Dr. Apollan says.

Since the smoke from the wild fires began to appear in the sky, Dr. Apollan says staff at UNI  Urgent Care have  seen some   patients with respiratory problems. but not a lot. “We’re not seeing an increased number at this point because I think that most people are heeding the warning to stay indoors and not be outdoors as much.”

If you are feeling ill from the smoke, Dr. Apollan says contact your primary care physician. If you are having a heart attack or trouble breathing, call 911.

By Kevin McManus