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Health advice: Bushfire season 2019

Monday 25 November 2019

The start to Queensland’s bushfire season this year has been reported as the worst on record. Extreme conditions have led to significantly higher numbers of fire events with fire danger ratings spanning the full spectrum of low-moderate to catastrophic.

Sadly, many throughout Australia have been greatly impacted and our thoughts and prayers go out to them all.

Dr Scott Burgess is a Paediatrician specialising in Respiratory and Sleep medicine, and offers the following advice for young people with respiratory conditions that could be triggered by decreased air quality brought about by the bush fire season:

"Smoke and other airborne particles associated with the bush fires can be a trigger for asthma and other lung conditions. Even at a significant distance from the fires there have been days when the smoke levels have been high.

"Young people with significant or unstable lung disease are advised to stay inside if possible when there is significant smoke in the air.

"Those taking asthma preventive medication are reminded to take their medication regularly, and to follow their asthma management plan if they develop respiratory symptoms.

"Urgent review should be sought if their symptoms do not respond to their reliever medication. If symptoms worsen, they should seek immediate emergency care and/or dial OOO.

"Young people who do not have a plan or have unstable respiratory health are encouraged to arrange a review with their family doctor to ensure they are prepared.

"The National Asthma Council has recently updated the Australian Asthma Handbook, which provides evidence-based, practical guidance Health Professionals around Asthma management."

For more information on Dr Scott Burgess, view his profile on


Visit the Queensland Government’s Rural Fire Service website for  regular updates and notifications are current bushfires, and to access  Prepare. Act. Survive. information.


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