Smoke plays havoc for asthmatics in North West

SMOKEY: The smoke haze in Moree on Monday morning. Photo: Jess Scully.

SMOKEY: The smoke haze in Moree on Monday morning. Photo: Jess Scully.

SENIOR paramedics have warned asthmatics to stay indoors as smoke from fierce fires across the state moves through parts of  the North West.

With fire crews still working in overdrive to contain fires running rampant across the state on Monday, paramedics have renewed their warnings for asthmatics to avoid heading outside when they know smoke is present.

On Sunday evening, southerly winds pushed smoke into the region, believed to be from fires in the area, prompting fears for asthmatics across the region.

Surprisingly, Moree’s pharmacists had very few, if any, patients report to them with respiratory issues on Monday.

“I was expecting to sell lots of ventolin today but I haven’t,” Moree Amcal pharmacist David Haworth said.

Locum pharmacist at Amaroo Amcal Pharmacy, Sherry Wu said while no-one came in with asthma symptoms on Monday, a number of people were feeling uncomfortable due to the smoke.

“I just had a gentleman come in with sinus problems, itchy eyes and his nose all itchy and blocked up and a few other people have come in this morning; not many are asking for puffers but many are complaining about the air,” she said.

Smoke was in the air in Moree's main street on Monday. Photo: Jess Scully.

Smoke was in the air in Moree's main street on Monday. Photo: Jess Scully.

Ms Wu said if people are experiencing any allergy or asthma symptoms, to go and speak with a pharmacist.

“If people are wheezy we can give them puffers and if people have itchy or dry eyes they can take eye-drops,” she said. “It’s better to stay indoors if they want to avoid those allergy symptoms and do feel uncomfortable. They should also see a doctor or got to hospital if they’re having problems breathing.”

New England ambulance inspector Ray Tait said, paramedics were called to little to no asthmatic related concerns over the weekend, but scorching temperatures of above 44 degrees kept the region’s ambulance crews busy with calls for assistance for heat related illnesses.

“I think people who have suffered with asthma are intelligent enough to know to get themselves out of the smoke and seal themselves inside,” he said.

“With an environment like this, asthmatics are always at risk – it is a fluid situation we are dealing with at the moment. But they are well aware of that and to maintain their medication and make sure they’re all up to date.” 

Inspector Tait urged residents not to hesitate to dial 000 if they were experiencing breathing difficulties due to an increase in air pollution .

Inspector Ray Tait

Inspector Ray Tait

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop