Media Releases

Don’t ignore asthma as bushfires escalate in Busselton

11 Jan 2022

The National Asthma Council Australia (NAC) and the Royal Australian College of GPs (RACGP) today issued a warning for residents with asthma living in Eagle Bay, Naturaliste and Dunsborough as the warning for bushfires across the city of Busselton intensified. 

Bill Petch, National Asthma Council Australia CEO, said local residents with asthma or hay fever need to be extra vigilant.

“People near bushfire areas who have been exposed to prolonged smoke and haze need to watch out for extra asthma and allergy risks.

“Smoke from fires can increase air pollution and can affect you and your family's health, so if you or your child start to have any breathing problems, coughing or chest tightness, make sure you act quickly and seek professional help to stop it turning into an asthma attack.

“Asthma is too dangerous to ignore and coupled with added stress and anxiety or upheavals, it could trigger dangerous flare-ups for people with asthma,” said Mr Petch.

RACGP President Dr Karen Price, said the extreme weather conditions in WA’s South West and ongoing high temperatures this week, could see the spread of more bushfires affecting homes.

“Hot dry air and dust from bushfires can cause asthma symptoms to flare-up and people in high-risk areas need to make sure they pack their asthma medication and asthma action plan in their emergency evacuation kit,” she said.

‘If you’ve lost your written asthma action plan or need one for the first time, your GP can work with you to set out a personal plan that factors in the effects of bushfire smoke.”

Anyone with asthma living in a high-risk bushfire zone should include asthma management in their fire safety survival plan:

  • Keep your reliever handy at all times
  • Make sure you have plenty of asthma medication available to you
  • If you decide to evacuate, take your reliever and other medications with you
  • Always follow your Written Asthma Action Plan.

If asthma symptoms occur, don’t delay:

  • Follow your Written Asthma Action Plan
  • If you don't have an action plan, take four separate puffs of a blue/grey reliever
  • If symptoms persist or are getting worse, follow the steps in First Aid for Asthma.

Visit the National Asthma Council’s website for tips on how to look after your asthma or allergies and download the Bushfires and Asthma Fact Sheet.

For further information or an interview with a NAC or RACGP spokesperson,

please contact: Donna Le Page, Le Page PR Mobile: 0429 825 703 Email[email protected]

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