Doctor advises those with respiratory issues stay inside amid smoky skies

May 31, 2023

WORCESTER, Mass. – Skies in central Massachusetts were hazy again Wednesday with smoke from wildfires burning in Canada.

Local doctors, including Saint Vincent Hospital chief of medicine Dr. George Abraham, are warning people with respiratory conditions to stay indoors if they can, but say there are some precautions people can take.

"For people with breathing problems, maybe asthma or other lung conditions, if you have to be outdoors, use a mask,” Abraham said. “The simple mask we were using when we had COVID and were masking will help filter some of that air at least so we don't directly inhale the smoke particles. Ideal would be to be indoors for that period of time, if possible, given that that is the best way to get cleaner air."

Abraham said people who use oxygen devices should continue to use it while an air quality alert is in effect. He said if you are still struggling to breathe indoors, even with oxygen, you should call for help.

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