Public Health Advice for People with Asthma

Masks coming our way

Article heading image for Public Health Advice for People with Asthma


Murrumbidgee Local Health District is reminding people, especially those with respiratory conditions such as asthma, to limit their time spent outside as poor air quality continues in parts of the District.

“We have seen an increase in presentations with breathing difficulties at our Emergency Departments, and we urge people with asthma or lung conditions to stay in air-conditioned premises where filtration systems can help to reduce smoke particles in the air,” said MLHD’s Director Public Health, Tracey Oakman.

“Smoke may aggravate existing heart and lung conditions and cause irritated eyes, coughing and wheezing,” Mrs Oakman said. “Symptoms can occur for several days after smoke is inhaled, so people with chronic respiratory conditions need to be vigilant with their treatment programs.”

“People with asthma or a lung condition who develop symptoms such as shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing, should follow their Asthma or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) action plan.

“If symptoms do not settle, seek medical advice. If you are on home oxygen treatment, continue as prescribed and if breathlessness worsens, contact your doctor.”

NSW Health is also distributing 1 million Commonwealth-provided P2 masks to hospitals, health facilities, recovery and evacuation centres and pharmacies in affected areas. When used correctly, P2 masks can filter out fine particles, however they require an extremely good fit to work properly and are not suitable for everyone. Visit the NSW Health website for more information, including an instruction video, on how to fit a P2 mask.

Instructions on how to properly fit a P2/N95 Face masks is available on the NSW Health website:

People showing severe signs of heat-related illness should seek urgent medical attention and in an emergency situation, call Triple Zero (000).

For more information and factsheets on the bush fire emergency response in MLHD visit:

14 January 2020

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