INDEPENDENT NEWS

Health alert – Smoke from Ravensdown fire in Christchurch

Published: Tue 9 Oct 2018 01:09 PM
Health alert – Smoke from Ravensdown fire in Christchurch – look out for your neighbours and phone your GP team if you are suffering ill-effects
With the large fire that started this morning in Christchurch, Canterbury DHB is reminding people to phone their GP team first if they experience any respiratory issues or concerns.
Dr Cheryl Brunton, Canterbury Medical Officer of Health, says that in the immediate vicinity of the fire and downwind there is a lot of smoke in the air and that people should avoid it if they can.
“Avoiding exposure to the smoke is the best advice right now. If you live nearby or downwind of the smoke plume, stay indoors and close windows. Don’t use air conditioning or ventilation that will draw smoke into your home or car.
“Smoke may irritate the eyes, nose, throat and airways. More serious symptoms include runny or sore eyes, a dry or sore throat or a sore nose, a cough, tightness of the chest or difficulty breathing. Canterbury DHB is reminding people who experience these symptoms or other respiratory issues to contact their own GP team first for advice 24/7 – even after hours a nurse is ready to take your call. They can tell you what to do and where to go if you need to be seen urgently.”
In an emergency always phone 111.
“Most people are very unlikely to have any long-term health effects from smoke. However, people with pre-existing respiratory illness or heart disease may experience a worsening or recurrence of their condition. Cigarette smokers, the elderly, children and those with heart disease, asthma or other lung disease are at greatest risk of harm from smoke inhalation. “
“Seek medical help if your symptoms worsen, especially if you have asthma, lung or heart disease, or if you start to experience breathlessness or chest pain.”
Dr Brunton is also encouraging people to remember to look out for their neighbours, especially the elderly or those with disabilities and make sure they’re ok.
“One of Canterbury’s strengths in an emergency is that we look out for, and take care of each other.”
Canterbury DHB
CDHB
Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) is a Christchurch, New Zealand based hospital and healthcare provider for the Canterbury region of New Zealand. Our region extends from Kekerengu in the North, to Rangitata in the South and Arthurs Pass in the West and comprises the six Territorial Local Authorities of Kaikoura, Hurunui, Waimakariri, Christchurch City, Selwyn and Ashburton.
We collaborate with other health and disability organisations, stakeholders and our community to decide what health and disability services are needed and how to best use the funding we receive from Government to improve, promote and protect the health, wellbeing and independence of our population.
At the Canterbury DHB, our vision is to improve the health and wellbeing of people living in Canterbury.
Contact Canterbury DHB
Website:
Facebook:
Media Contact:
natasha.capon@cdhb.health.nz

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