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Breaking News: Health Advisory for Contra Costa County

Last updated: November 10, 2018, 12:38 pm

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District reports that parts of our county have unhealthy air due to smoke. Please follow the following tips to protect yourself and your loved ones. Everyone, especially children, should reduce outdoor activity. Active children and adults, and people with respiratory disease such as asthma, should avoid prolonged outdoor activity. Masks are not a substitute for staying indoors. Masks such as the N-95 are not effective for untrained users and may be dangerous for people with lung or heart conditions. N-95 masks may be helpful for people who must work outdoors if properly fitted. Employees should work with their employers for direction on when/how to use N-95 masks. Seek medical attention if you experience symptoms like repeated coughing, difficulty breathing, wheezing, chest tightness, palpitations, nausea, fatigue or lightheadedness. Visit for smoke tips and for air quality in your area


Asthma is a chronic or long term lung disease that inflames and narrows a person’s airways. Asthma causes chest tightness, shortness of breath, coughing, and recurring periods of wheezing (a whistling sound when a person breaths). The coughing can occur anytime of the day or night.

Your doctor can help you find out what things, often called triggers, can cause your asthma and worsen asthma symptoms. Triggers include:

  • Allergens from dust, animal fur, cockroaches, mold, and pollen from trees, grasses, and flowers
  • Irritants like cigarette smoke, air pollution, chemicals, or dust in the workplace, fumes in home furnishings and sprays
  • Medicines including aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and nonselective beta-blockers
  • Sulfites in food and drinks
  • Viral upper respiratory infections like colds and flu
  • Certain physical activities

Other health conditions can make managing asthma difficult. These include sinus infections, acid reflux disease, psychological stress, and a runny nose. Asthma is different for each individual and therefore some of the triggers listed above may not affect everyone who has asthma.