Queensland chief health officer urges caution in bushfire weather

COOL: Soaking your feet in water can help you stay cool in extreme heat, says Dr Young.

COOL: Soaking your feet in water can help you stay cool in extreme heat, says Dr Young.

QUEENSLAND chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young is advising Queenslanders to look out for themselves and their family and friends' health during the current bush fire situation across the state.

"QFES has declared a State of Fire Emergency across 42 local government areas in Queensland following a period of significantly heightened fire weather conditions expected to continue into next week," Dr Young said.

"I am urging Queenslanders to remain vigilant if they suffer from pre-existing health conditions that can be exacerbated due smoke and dust.

"People in communities affected by bushfires can take precautions by avoiding vigorous exercise outside especially if you have asthma, diabetes, heart disease or a breathing related condition.

"It is also important to avoid being outside particularly in heightened temperatures.

"Even if you're fit and healthy, heat related illness can lead to serious illness and even death, so it is vital for everyone to take precautions.

"If you have an air conditioner at home, turn it on and use it in a recirculate mode. Ensure you are drinking plenty of fluids and staying cool by taking cool showers, soaking feet in water or wearing a wet bandana or washer around your neck.

"If you have elderly neighbours or relatives it's a good idea to check in on them.

"If you or a family member or friend is experiencing any adverse reactions to the heat, dust or smoke such as shortness of breath, prolonged coughing or wheezing, seek medical advice.

"Call triple zero (000) in an emergency or call 13 Health (43 25 84) for general health advice if you are unable to see your GP."

Dr Young also said those in affected communities should also look out for tank water or fire affected foods.

"Tank water could have become contaminated from debris and ash or dead animals," Dr Young said.

"If the water tastes, looks or smells unusual, do not drink it or give it to animals.

"All foods that have been fire-damaged or affected by heat should be thrown out."