Health official discusses concerns over wildfire smoke

STATESBORO, GA (WTOC) - The smoke from fires in North Georgia continues to ebb and flow all the way down here in South Georgia. Meanwhile, local doctors say there are things you can do to minimize the impact.

Medical doctors at Georgia Southern University say they have not seen any spike in respiratory-related cases over the average fall. Dr. Brian DeLoach says they often see more patients in the fall as the air gets colder.

He says the smoke drifting down from the wildfires will affect people differently, but those with breathing problems could be harder hit. He suggests limiting exposure to outside air on days with heavier smoke and keeping meds and breathing treatments close at hand.

"Asthmatics should have a peak flow meter. They should know what their danger zones are, check peak flows on a regular basis. If they see themselves trending down to an area that might cause problems, they should follow up," said Dr. DeLoach.

He says metropolitan areas that already have air quality challenges could see more problems than rural areas with less traffic. But everyone should pay attention and not let problems catch you unprepared.

Fire crews say it could take weeks more to get the problems up there under control. Meanwhile, Dr. DeLoach says you should stay on top of your local air quality levels and how it's affecting you.

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