The Asthma and Respiratory Foundation NZ (ARFNZ) is urging anyone with a respiratory condition living in the Tauranga area to check whether there are any signs of smoke in their area before venturing outdoors, with an active fire currently burning on Birch Avenue in the suburb of Judea.

Smoke from fires can worsen existing respiratory conditions and cause burning eyes, sore throats and coughing.

"Smoke is a major trigger for asthma, as it is effectively tiny particles entering the throat and lungs," says Joanna Turner, Research and Education Manager, ARFNZ.

"This can severely irritate those with respiratory illnesses like asthma, bronchitis, or COPD, with children and the elderly being among those most at risk of unexpected flare-ups."

Joanna says that the best thing people can do is stay indoors and keep doors and windows closed at home and offices until the smoke clears, especially with a moderate breeze blowing in Tauranga today.

Letitia Harding, ARFNZ Chief Executive adds, "If you have a respiratory condition, ensure that you keep your respiratory medication nearby, and if you are experiencing exacerbations or flare-ups of your respiratory condition, contact your GP as soon as possible." 

Media Coverage

28/09/21 - NZ Herald


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