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Be Aware: Smoky Air Can Cause Symptoms Similar To COVID-19

Tiffany Eckert

Regional fires have filled the skies with smoke and particulates. Throughout the Willamette Valley and in spots along the central coast, air quality can range from unhealthy to hazardous.

Lane County Public Health recommends staying indoors with windows closed and refraining from strenuous activity when outside.

Spokesperson Jason Davis warned poor air quality can cause symptoms that mimic those of COVID-19.

“Most commonly it’s the watery eyes, potentially difficulty breathing, an irritated throat and irritated nasal passageways,” he said. “So those are all things that can happen due to smoke in the air and this poor air quality. Because you are experiencing those symptoms doesn’t mean that you are necessarily coming down with COVID.”

Credit Tiffany Eckert
Ash hangs hard on the windshield and visibility is low driving on 30th Avenue past Lane Community College in south Eugene.

Davis said air quality is expected to remain poor for the rest of the week so don’t be surprised if symptoms persist. He added, if anyone feels they have been infected with the virus, testing is always available.

Credit Tiffany Eckert
USPS delivers in hazy, smoky conditions in the south hills of Eugene on Tuesday.

Tiffany joined the KLCC News team in 2007. She studied journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia and worked in a variety of media including television, technical writing, photography and daily print news before moving to the Pacific Northwest.
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