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For Immediate Release:
October 23, 2007
For more information contact:
Public Health Communications
(213) 240-8144

Updated Health Alert #3 Air quality remains unhealthy for outside activity throughout LA County, including for all school outdoor sports and physical activity programs

LOS ANGELES - Due to the continued unhealthy air throughout Los Angeles County, it is advised that schools discontinue outside physical activities, including after school sports until conditions improve. It is also recommended that all residents avoid non-essential prolonged outdoor vigorous physical activity.

In addition, the elderly and other sensitive individuals, including adults and children with heart disease, emphysema, asthma, or other lung disease, should stay indoors as much as possible. These individuals should monitor their conditions and be vigilant about taking their medicines as prescribed by their health care providers. Those who have asthma should keep their "as needed" medications with them at all times. If symptoms develop, sensitive individuals should contact their health care provider.

"Air quality remains unhealthful across the county as a result of the ongoing wildfires. It is very important that persons take precautions and that they check in on others they know who may be more sensitive to smoke," said Dr. Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, Public Health Director and Health Officer. Also, temperatures in many parts of Los Angeles County are expected to reach the 90's today, so take precautions to protect yourself and your dependents from the heat. It is important to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. Symptoms of dehydration and heat cramps include dizziness, fatigue, faintness, headaches, muscle cramps, and increased thirst. Individuals with these symptoms should be removed to a cooler, shaded place and given water or sport drinks.

Staying indoors can help reduce exposure to smoke and dust, especially by keeping doors and windows closed. Running the air conditioner can also be helpful and will be protective against the heat. Residents should check the filters on their air conditioners and replace them regularly. Indoor air filtration devices with HEPA filters can further reduce the level of particles that circulate indoors.

For more detailed information about air quality related to the wildfires, visit the South Coast Air Quality Management District's website at www.aqmd.gov or call 1-800-CUT-SMOG (288-7664).

The Department of Public Health is committed to protecting and improving the health of the nearly 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, Public Health overseas environmental health, disease control, and community and family health. Public Health comprises more than 4,000 employees and has an annual budget exceeding $750 million. To learn more about Public Health and the work we do, please visit http://www.lapublichealth.org.


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