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Can Wildfire Smoke Affect Your Health?

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It seems as though there is always a story on the news about a wildfire breaking out and how difficult they are to contain. Most people think of wildfires and they think about the damage and destruction they can do to homes, vehicles, and personal belongings. What most people don’t consider is the damage the wildfire can do to their health.

How Can Smoke Affect Your Health?

The smoke that is created from a wildfire is a mixture of fine particles and gasses from the burning trees and plant materials. These particles and gasses can result in:

  • Burning eyes
  • An irritated respiratory system
  • Hacking cough
  • Worsens heart disease
  • Worsens lung disease

Who Can Be the Most Effected By the Smoke From Wildfires?

The smoke from a wildfire can affect anyone, however, there are certain people who are at greater risk of having complications.

  • People who have heart or lung problems: If you have any type of heart disease, asthma, or another type of lung disease, you are at greater risk of developing complications from the smoke from a wildfire than a healthy person would be.
  • The elderly: The elderly are at greater risk of developing complications due to wildfire smoke. The reason is that an elderly person has a weaker heart and weaker lungs than a younger person. Also, many elderly people already have lung and heart complications.
  • Children: Children are in danger when it comes to wildfire smoke. A child’s airway is still developing, therefore, they breathe more air per pound of body weight than adults. Also, children spend a great deal of their time outdoors playing.

How to Protect Yourself From Wildfire Smoke

If you want to protect your family and your family from wildfire smoke complications, there are a few steps that you should take.

  • Pay attention to air quality reports: If the air outdoors is dangerous due to wildfire smoke, it will be mentioned on the news. If the news or health reports say that the air quality is poor, you should try to stay indoors.
  • Keep your windows closed: If the air quality outside is poor, you want to keep the air quality inside clean. To do this, keep the windows closed. If you need to run your air conditioner, you should close the intake for fresh air. Also, keep the filter clean to keep the smoke from outside from getting in.
  • Avoid any activities that will increase pollution: When the air quality outdoors is bad, you should avoid burning candles, using your fireplace, and using your gas stove. You should also avoid vacuuming. It can stir up particles in the air, which can make the indoor pollution worse.
  • Don’t rely on dust masks for protection: You should not put on a dust mask and expect it to protect you from the wildfire smoke. These masks are designed to trap large particles, like sawdust. They are not made to collect the small particles that are created by wildfires.
  • Follow your doctor’s advice: If you are having trouble breathing during the fire, you should contact your doctor. You should follow the instructions that the doctor gives you and take the medication as prescribed.
  • Consider evacuating: If you are having difficulty breathing both indoors and outdoors, you should consider evacuating until the firefighters have everything under control. Evacuating could be the healthiest thing for you.

In a perfect world, wildfires wouldn’t put us at risk. Since we don’t live in a perfect world it is important to know who is at risk and what you can do to protect yourself and your family during a wildfire.

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Symptoms of Whooping Cough

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Due to the years of medical research, many of the ‘old time’ illness, such as the following showed rarity. Medical communities all agreed that there was no longer any need to vaccine children and adults due no incidents of these diseases reported for many years.

Now in recent years these ‘old time’ illnesses are starting to rear their ugly head because vaccinations stopped. Now the CDC is starting to urge you and your children to be vaccinated once again. A DPT vaccination is a combination of Diphtheria, Pertussis, and Tetanus.

Those vaccinated need a revaccination against this with a TDap booster. Whooping Cough is a serious disease and can cause death. Every age group should get a vaccination to protect them against this illness. It is hard to diagnose Whooping Cough because the symptoms are that of a common cold.

  • Whooping Cough
  • Chicken Pox
  • Scarlet Fever
  • Polio

Whooping Cough, Pertussis, or the 100-Day Cough

Whooping Cough is a difficult and challenging illness for any child or adult. This disease takes on a more difficult elimination, and the signs and symptoms become worse in seniors and infants.

If you, as an adult, or a baby is exposed to Pertussis it takes from five to ten days and sometimes up to three weeks to develop symptoms.

If you received a vaccination and then exposed to Whooping Cough, your cough would not last as long. If a baby contracts Pertussis and they are less than one year of age, hospitalization is usually required. Symptoms of this illness include,

  • A whooping type cough
  • Constant coughing fits
  • Instances of vomiting after coughing fits
  • Symptoms mimicking a cold such as, mild cough and low-grade fever
  • Periods of apnea in babies

Early on in the process of this illness symptoms can last for one to a few weeks and may include,

  • A mild and occasional cough
  • Low-grade fever
  • Episodes of apnea in a baby
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Common cold or bronchitis

If you have a baby with Whooping Cough, the chances of them coughing may not be apparent. Instead, a child displays apnea and cyanosis (bluish tinge to the skin) from lack of oxygen.

As this illness progresses, symptoms become more intense after one to two weeks. These symptoms can include,

  • You have frequent, rapid coughing. Coughing fits come so frequently and violently it takes all the air from your lungs. To breathe you must try to take in a deep breath causing a whooping sound.
  • Vomiting, sometimes
  • Extreme fatigue

There is no quick recovery from Pertussis. Coughing fits last for weeks, usually up to and exceeding 10-weeks.

Vaccinations for Whooping Cough lessen the duration and intensity of a cough and time ill.

Recovery

Recovery is slow and agonizing. A cough starts to decrease and is milder. Symptoms can return over the course of many months, whenever you develop another respiratory infection.

Vaccination against Diphtheria,Tetanus, and Pertussis is essential to good health and lessens the symptoms should you get any of these illnesses.

This vaccination is essential to good health and lessens the symptoms should you get any of these illnesses.Vaccinations are highly safe, but you may experience some mild reactions such as in the following.

  • Mild pain and redness at injection site
  • Mild fever
  • Slight headache
  • Mild fatigue

When you consider full-blown Pertussis and the weeks and months of difficult recovery, these few possible reactions are minimal and you will be glad you protected yourself and children from Whooping Cough.

Pertussis is on the rise and proves a very contagious respiratory infection. Vaccination of adults and children every ten years is essential for a healthy life.

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