SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Smoky skies filled the Sacramento area on Wednesday – a sign of the summer wildfire season. This time it was the Dixie Fire that brought the mist.
“It’s just remarkable how hard that smoke can blow,” Kelly Garcia told Rancho Cordova.
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Air quality ranged from unhealthy in Fair Oaks and Sacramento – canceling the Sacramento Police Department training camp – to very unhealthy in Rancho Cordova, stopping softball and swimming practices.
“It’s like a daily thing for us to go to the pool, especially because it’s so hot,” Garcia explained.
Frustrated families looking to cool off in triple-digit temperatures were greeted with tears from little ones hoping to take a dip in the pool.
“The air quality is bad because California is on fire again, so they closed the swimming lessons,” Kayleigh Swetland told Rancho Cordova.
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Dr.Christian Sandrock of Infectious Diseases and Lungs at UC Davis warns that inhaling smoky air for too long causes irritation to your lungs and could increase your risk of COVID, among other viruses, including the common cold and flu.
“This destruction somehow alters our immunity and the ability of our immune system to deal with infections. And then when you add something like the delta variant that already has the ability to evade our immune system and that puts us at increased risk, ”explained Sandrock. “You just don’t have the same protection and when you’re infected it’s a bit more damaging and irritating,” he said.
So what’s the difference between symptoms of smoke exposure and COVID-19? The Centers for Disease Control says that while a dry cough, sore throat, and difficulty breathing can be caused by both fever, chills, body aches, and severe chest pain, you should see a doctor. Sandrock suggests long-haul COVID patients should avoid extremely poor air quality altogether.
“When patients with typically long-haul COVIDs are stressed, their symptoms are seen to be exasperated. If they have chest pain, leg pain or brain fog, it gets worse for a while, ”he explained.
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Sandrock suggests wearing a mask to help filter out harmful air particles from wildfire smoke.