Health advice during increased air pollution levels

Dr Rosie Frankenberg

Dr Rosie Frankenberg

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People in Suffolk are being encouraged to be aware of the high levels of air pollution affecting the county.

That’s the message from GPs at the NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS West Suffolk CCG and health experts at Public Health Suffolk.

High levels of air pollution can adversely affect people with underlying health conditions, although the majority of people will be unaffected.

Air pollution levels monitoring by the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) indicate that levels will be very high across the country, meaning vulnerable people should take extra care.

The increased levels of air pollution are caused by dust blown over from the Sahara and light winds.

Dr Rosie Frankenberg, an Ipswich GP and a member of the clinical executive of NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG said: “If you are in a general good state of health then you are unlikely to suffer any ill effects from these increased air pollution levels.

“However, people with lung or heart conditions should reduce their levels of physical exertion, particularly if they experience symptoms of sore eyes, cough or sore throat.

“People with asthma may find they need to use their inhaler more often on the days with increased air pollution levels.

“In a few cases, healthy individuals may experience a dry or sore throat or possibly a cough.

“These symptoms will pass quickly and in most cases there is no need to see your GP.

“Importantly, people should not be afraid to go outside and there is no need to keep children away from school”.

Tessa Lindfield, Suffolk’s director of public health said: “We would urge anyone with a respiratory condition or heart disease to look after themselves during this period of high air pollution.

“This is especially important when outdoors, where strenuous exercise should be avoided wherever possible”.

For all the latest news see Thursday’s (April 10) Echo.