Greater Sydney, Illawarra and surrounds urged not to go outside today
- Air quality is 11 times hazardous today across parts of Sydney due to bushfire smoke
- New South Wales (NSW) Premier Gladys Berejiklian has issued a state of emergency for the next seven days due to fires
- High temps are expected today with wind making for dangerous conditions
- Conditions are expected to worsen on Saturday according to NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) Commissioner
- NSW Ambulance has more crews on the ground today but be mindful that ambulance services may get inundated
- Follow all instructions from the NSW RFS and tune into your local ABC radio for up to date emergency information
- Keep updated with your local Council who may be offering refuge in public buildings in affected areas
Asthma Australia urges all Sydney residents affected by hazardous air quality to be on high alert for asthma symptoms; do not go outdoors and make arrangements to avoid exposure for the coming days and weeks.
According to NSW Fire Commissioner, the next seven days are set to be challenging for uncontrolled bushfires.
Due to bushfire smoke, the health of people with asthma and pre-existing respiratory and heart conditions are most at high-risk as well as babies, pregnant women and people over 65 years.
- People with asthma are being advised to:
- Keep asthma rescue emergency medication at hand
- Follow your Asthma Action Plan for worsening symptoms
- Use Asthma First Aid if symptoms do not improve
- Seek immediate medical attention or call Triple 0 in an emergency
Asthma Australia strongly encourages the community to take whatever means possible to avoid exposure to the smoke.
- Seek out a clean air shelter or build one in your home
- People might plan a short trip out of Sydney for a few days if you have friends and family to get some reprieve from the smoke
- If using a facemask ensure its p2 / N95 and has a tight seal around your nose and face
Bushfire smoke contains high concentrations of PM2.5 which is causing hazardous levels of air pollution.
These very fine particles penetrate deep into the lungs and enter the blood stream causing systemic effects on respiratory, cardiovascular systems and other organs. People who have not experienced breathing difficulty before, could experience symptoms.
For people with asthma, PM2.5 irritates the lining of the airway causing inflammation (swelling) and extra mucus to be produced causing the airways to narrow and resulting in an asthma flare up.
For any support or information regarding asthma, call us on 1800 ASTHMA (1800 278 462) to speak with an Asthma Educator.