An emergency shipment of inhalers and nebulizers is on the way to Direct Relief’s longtime partner in San Diego County treating people affected by the outbreak of wildfires in Southern California.
A physician at North County Health Services in San Marcos, California said the poor air quality caused by smoke and particulates from the nearby Carlsbad Fire is exacerbating symptoms in asthma patients. With no other clinics in close proximity to the fire, their staff predict many people with fire-related medical needs will likely seek care at North County Health Services.
Mandatory evacuations have been issued for thousands of people near Carlsbad, where 30 homes have been destroyed. Direct Relief has also offered assistance to partners near the Bernado Fire and Pendleton Fire also in San Diego County as well as the Miguelito Fire near Lompoc and Briggs Fire near Santa Paula.
With record temperatures and winds affecting much of the state, fire risks are high. According to CAL FIRE, California’s department of forestry and fire protection, the agency has responded to more than 1,350 wildfires so far this year. The average for this time of year is 700, reports USA Today.
Should more supplies be requested, Direct Relief has N-95 particulate masks (which have a higher filtration than paper and surgical masks) on standby as well as other fire-related inventory such as inhalers and nebulizers, first-aid products, medical supplies for eye irritation, and personal care products.
When smoke levels are high enough, even healthy people can experience symptoms of abnormal breathing, coughing, chest discomfort and shortness of breath.
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