KOTA KINABALU: There is a rise in haze-related illnesses in four districts in Sabah, namely Beaufort, Kuala Penyu, Papar and Sipitang, said state Health Department director Dr Christina Rundi.
She said the increase was based on findings conducted by the relevant department in the affected districts monitoring haze-related illnesses.
Dr Christina said Beaufort recorded a rise in conjunctivitis, flu and asthma with 310 cases registered within three days of this week, compared with 346 cases throughout last week.
In Kuala Penyu, 61 similar cases were reported for three days this week compared with four last week.
“Data for Sipitang and Papar districts were newly reported this week but showed a high number of patients, especially for breathing and respiratory disease,” she said in a statement here Friday.
Dr Christina said, based on the Air Pollutant Index (API) reading recorded by the Department of Environment from April 2 to 4, Beaufort showed unhealthy and very unhealthy air quality. The district has also recorded an hazardous API reading of 301 on April 4.
“However, the API improved overnight to moderate levels,” she said.
Dr Christina also reminded the public to avoid exposure to the haze, reduce outdoor activities and take other measures to keep fit.
Individuals suffering from coughs, colds, asthma, eye pain, heart disease and chronic lung disease are urged to seek immediate medical care if the situation worsens.
The public is also reminded to use masks when outdoors, wash the face and skin exposed to the haze with clean water, use air-conditioning if in a vehicle and always drink at least eight glasses of water a day.
“If the haze continues at a dangerous level, people in the high risk category are advised to leave the area,” she said. – Bernama