Southeast District Health Department is warning Southeast Nebraska residents of the poor air quality in the region. Extensive burning in the Midwest, especially the Flint Hills area of Kansas, have exposed people of Southeast Nebraska to unhealthy levels of smoke. Officials have said the levels of smoke in the air are unhealthy for all individuals especially those with asthma, lung disease, other respiratory conditions or heart disease as well as older adults and children. Southeast District Health Department advises those at most risk to stay indoors and avoid strenuous physical activity. All individuals should reduce prolonged activity outdoors and take more breaks.
The poor air quality may continue for the next couple of days due to prevailing winds from the South and relatively low winds.
Smoke is made up of tiny particles and gases. When breathed into the lungs, they can cause asthma attacks, worsen chronic bronchitis and emphysema, and cause angina in some people with heart disease. Residents are advised to keep windows and doors closed and use the “re-circulate” setting when using a vehicle air conditioner. Those who experience difficulty breathing, coughing, tightness in the chest or angina should contact a medical provider.