Breathing problems arises as Amazon burns into ashes
Brazil : People living in the nearby areas of Amazon forest in Brazil are now flooding health centres as cases of breathing problems are on a spike.
During the first three weeks of August, the Cosme and Damião Children’s Hospital in Porto Velho admitted more than 400 children with respiratory problems — three times the average, according to officials.
Brazil’s northwestern state of Acre reported 47,000 cases of respiratory illnesses during the same period.
With the ongoing fire at the Amazon Forest, it has become a public health hazard in last couple of weeks.
“Every year we have some fires and issues with smoke, but this was the worst year of them all,” said Izaura de Campos, a pediatrician in Porto Velho. “This is the year when we are finally seeing what we are breathing.”
“Just one day’s exposure to these pollutants has a critical impact on health,” said Marcos Abdo Arbex, a pulmonologist in Sao Paulo state who specializes in environmental diseases.
Fires in the Amazon are common during the dry season, but this year has been exceptional. More than 25,000 fires have been spotted in the rainforest in August alone, a nine-year high, according to Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research.
The fires can burn for months on end, sending smoke hundreds of miles. Sao Paulo, the hemisphere’s largest city, was covered in a blanket so thick last week that it blocked out the midday sun, turning day to night.