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cough? How to determine if wildfire smoke or COVID is the cause-BC News

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If you feel sick lately, your first thought may be to get a new coronavirus test. However, wildfires burning south of the border created poor air quality in BC. And it can have a variety of health consequences.

The BC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that the following groups of people reduce their exposure to smoke.

  • People with existing chronic diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease, diabetes
  • Pregnant woman
  • Infants and small children
  • Senior citizens

Wildfire smoke contains very small particles that, when inhaled, travel deep into the lungs. These particles can cause irritation and irritation and can continue until air quality improves. Symptoms that can occur include:

  • sore throat
  • Inflammation of the eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Light cough
  • Sputum production
  • Wheezing breathing
  • headache

So how do you determine if the symptoms are related to air quality or COVID-19?

BCCDC Research Associate Jiayun Angela Yao said that some people may experience more serious symptoms and should seek immediate medical attention, especially if they are experiencing dyspnea. It states.

Responses to smoke vary from person to person, and some people are at increased risk of health effects. That said, Yao points out that healthy people can also be affected by wildfire smoke. Therefore, if smoke is affecting you, you should listen to your body and reduce your exposure.

“Smoke exposure can be difficult because it shares many symptoms with COVID-19, such as coughing, headaches, and sore throat, but some of the symptoms of COVID-19 are in smoke, including fever. It’s less likely to be related, chills, sore throat, “says Yao.

Yao also says it may be helpful to compare what he experienced in the previous summer when the air quality was poor due to wildfire smoke and determine if he felt the same.

“For masks, the biggest thing we need to be aware of is the fit of the face. Finding the mask that suits you best is the most important. Properly worn non-medical masks are from smoke. We can provide some protection, “Yao adds. “Also, masks with multiple layers of different materials provide better protection than masks with a single layer.

“For example, if you have a cotton layer, a rayon layer (different material) mask, it’s actually better at blocking particles from entering the respiratory area.”

People with a history should be especially careful and always carry emergency medicine with them. If you cannot control your symptoms, see a doctor immediately.

Call HealthLink BC (811), talk to your doctor, or go to a walk-in clinic in the following cases:

  • Dyspnea
  • Severe cough
  • dizzy
  • Chest pain
  • Palpitations

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