Presentations at emergency departments in a bushfire-hit part of NSW for asthma or breathing problems in the past week have almost doubled.
Hospitals in the Mid-North Coast, where fires have hit hard, have had 68 presentations for asthma or breathing problems in that period, almost twice the usual number.
Hospitals in the Hunter and Central Coast local health districts have also had a high intake, NSW Health Director of Environmental Health Dr Richard Broom said.
But while there has been a rise in ED presentations, the number of people having to be admitted into hospital has not increased, Dr Broom said.
"The increase in presentations is across all ages and it serves to reinforce the message that people with asthma and other respiratory problems should take care on smoky days," he said.
"It shows that smoke from active and smouldering fires can have a real impact on people's health."
He advised people to continue to take care and reduce their exposure to smoke by staying indoors with the doors and windows shut.
Australian Associated Press