Smoke Advisory Issued in Southern California
The South Coast Air Quality Management District on Sunday declared that smoke from the wildfires that spread in Southern California this weekend is causing a "significant health risk" because of decreased air quality and issued a smoke advisory for much of the area, the Los Angeles Times reports. The advisory, anticipated to remain in effect through Monday, indicated that area residents, especially youths, should avoid vigorous activities outdoors, according to the Times. The AQMD advised residents in affected areas -- including the Inland Empire, the San Bernardino Mountains, the San Gabriel and San Fernando valleys and parts of Ventura and Orange counties -- to respond to the advisory as they would to a severe smog warning. However, Henry Gong, professor of medicine at the University of Southern California, said that because fires create large amounts of gases and particles, the air condition is "much worse than a typical smoggy day," the Times reports.
Emergency department admissions have increased at San Diego and Ventura county hospitals, and an increase in ED patients at Chino Valley Medical Center was exacerbated by the absence of doctors and nurses who were evacuated from their homes and could not get to the hospital, according to the Times. The Times reports that Palomar Medical Center in Escondido is on code yellow -- a general code that informs the hospital staff of a "major disaster and to be prepared," according to hospital spokesperson Julie Taber. Area hospitals also noted a small increase in patients with pulmonary problems, the Times reports (Polakovic, Los Angeles Times, 10/27).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.