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Fire Alert: Coping with Heat Wave and Poor Air Quality

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Message from the Student Health Center

As a result of the Bernardo fire burning in North County, the San Diego Air Pollution Control District (SDAPCD) has reported localized areas of smoke throughout the County. In areas where smoke can be smelled, it is important to limit physical activity and if possible, stay indoors to limit exposure to fine particulate matter. This recommendation is particularly important if you have a history of respiratory problems such as asthma or allergies.

Signs and symptoms you may experience because of the potential increased level of smoke in the air:

  • SORE THROAT
  • INCREASED NASAL SECRETIONS and POST NASAL DRAINAGE
  • EYES BURN, ITCH, WATER
  • SNEEZING, COUGHING, CLEARING YOUR THROAT
  • HOARSENESS
  • HEADACHE

These symptoms are usually mild and can be minimized if you:

  • STAY INDOORS
  • Limit Physical Activity
  • Close doors and windows

Also, make sure to:

  • DRINK MORE FLUIDS
  • AVOID STRENUOUS EXERCISE
  • WEAR YOUR GLASSES (instead of contact lens’)
  • USE ARTIFICAL TEARS TO KEEP EYES MOIST (such as Hypo-Tears and Refresh, not Visine)
  • USE OVER THE COUNTER REMEDIES IF NEEDED

If you experience WHEEZING, CHEST TIGHTNESS, SHORTNESS OF BREATH, seek medical care.

If you have asthma or use an inhaler:

  • MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ENOUGH MEDICINE FOR THE NEXT WEEK
  • CALL IF YOU NEED MORE MEDICINE OR HAVE QUESTIONS ON DOSAGE OR USAGE.

Preveny Dehydration During Hot Weather

It is recommended that during hot weather you should be drinking water even when not thirsty and regardless of your activity level.

  • Drinking WATER is the best option. Oral rehydration solutions are also suitable
  • Avoid so-called “energy drinks”, sugar-filled, caffeinated and alcoholic drinks as they contribute to dehydration.
  • Exercise indoors or do outdoor activities early morning or late evening when it’s cooler
  • Avoid the sun when possible

Contact your medical provider or the USD Student Health Center at (619) 260-4595 for specific recommendations. If you need to speak to the on-call provider for urgent concerns, call public safety at (619) 260-7777. If you develop an acute asthma attack, call 911 or campus security at (619) 260-2222 for emergency assistance. For students experiencing any concerns because of the fires, help is available at the Counseling Center by calling (619) 260-4655

ContactPublic Affairs | news@sandiego.edu | (619) 260-4681