2020 Oct 9, 12:26pm
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In northern California’s Stanford Health Care system, hospital admissions have jumped by 12% in recent weeks, including a stunning 43% increase in cerebrovascular conditions such as strokes. In Oregon, health officials reported nearly one out of 10 people visiting the emergency room had asthma-like conditions due to the smoke. And in San Francisco, doctors had to cancel their clinics for recovering Covid-19 patients, because the air was so unhealthy that just getting to their appointments could make patients more sick. ...“We’re on the 30th consecutive day of our ‘Spare the Air’ alerts,” said Kristina Chu of the Bay Area air quality management district on Wednesday. “That’s an all-time record,” she explained; the previous longest was 14 days. ...The most alarming finding was the 43% increase in strokes and other cerebrovascular hospitalizations, which could be related to inflammation brought on by the pollution, the researchers said. ...In Oregon, residents were facing air pollution so severe that the air quality index readings were “literally off the charts”, according to Gabriela Goldfarb, a spokesperson for the Oregon health authority, which has been monitoring an increase in people seeking emergency treatment for asthma symptoms. While any air quality index over 300 is considered “hazardous”, numerous communities bordering the wildfires near Salem and the Portland suburbs have experienced readings of over 500, she said. ...“If there are people who need to leave the house and get some fresh air, we recommend they do it now,” said Chu, of the Bay Area air quality district. “It’s a new normal that we’re getting used to.”
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