HEALTH

Utah doctors report rise in breathing problems likely due to smoky skies

Aug 9, 2021, 6:07 PM | Updated: 6:12 pm
utah smoky skies...
FILE PHOTO: Utah capitol building. Photo, Paul Nelson)

SALT LAKE CITY – Doctors are reporting an uptick in the number of people coming in with respiratory problems likely due to the smoky skies in Utah. They believe the number of people with respiratory issues will likely increase over the next couple of weeks. 

According to Utah doctors, there is a lag when it comes to bad air pollution days and when people start to report breathing problems. Intermountain Healthcare Pulmonary Physician Denitza Blagev said this lag could span anywhere from several days to a few weeks since many people assume they’ll get better on their own.

However, she’s already seeing patients come into her clinic because of the smoky skies in Utah.

Blagev said, “All my patients in the clinic [Monday] morning were reporting symptoms related to the air pollution, ranging from shortness of breath, cough or chest tightness.”

She acknowledged there may be a specific reason why so many cases have come in. Blagev reported since the air was so notably dirty on Friday and Saturday, more people are likely to identify those days as when their symptoms started.

Blagev said, “Even people who don’t have an underlying lung disease are reporting symptoms, as well.”

It’s hard to predict exactly how many patients will come in for pollution-related sickness. Blagev said researchers will have to collect the data over the next few weeks and compare it to other years. 

Meanwhile, she said the pollution could be especially harmful to people who already had COVID-19 and who are already dealing with other respiratory problems.

“Those patients are at increased risk of having respiratory symptoms with air pollution now that they may not have been bothered by, previously,” according to Blagev.

She said people ask her if they should cancel their outdoor activities because of the smoky skies. Blagev believes people should look at the air quality index, and if the air is expected to be dirty, they should rethink their outdoor plans.

Blagev said, “If we’re really in the red zone, then definitely.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Health

FILE - A doctor loads a dose of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe, Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, at ...
Aimee Cobabe

Bill banning vaccine passports heading to Utah Senate

A bill to ban vaccine passports is heading out of the Utah House and into the Utah Senate. The bill is similar to a failed bill from 2022.
3 days ago
A bill on transgender healthcare — banning transgender-related surgeries and puberty blockers for...
Eliza Pace, KSL TV and Aimee Cobabe, KSL NewsRadio

Utah Senate approves changes to transgender care bill, passes on to Gov. Cox

SB16 bans gender-confirming surgeries for minors and also places a moratorium on puberty blockers for minors.
6 days ago
Havasu Falls spills into the water pools below in Supai, Arizona, in October of 2016. Photo credit:...
Forrest Brown, CNN

Grand Canyon’s Havasu Falls to reopen to visitors after 3-year closure

 (CNN) — Havasu Falls, one of the most intriguing features of the Grand Canyon system, will be reopening to visitors after a three-year closure caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. But it’s with a catch. The reopening is scheduled for February 1; however, access will be limited initially to a certain, small group. People whose previous […]
6 days ago
White carnations representing each of the 1,746 unborn babies that were aborted in Utah in 2022 are...
Allessandra Harris and Simone Seikaly

Speeches, silence, during Pro-Life Utah memorial at the Capitol

About 100 people including Utah lawmakers and religious leaders attended the memorial on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023.
7 days ago
 A mental health clinic will reopen on Thursday after a carbon monoxide leak sent at least 17 peop...
Michael Locklear

Carbon monoxide poisoning at central Utah clinic hospitalizes 17 people

The Central Utah Counseling Center in Ephraim was evacuated a week ago after a problem with an old furnace was discovered.
8 days ago
a row of guns are pictured...
Mark Jones

KSL at Night: How do we solve gun violence?

KSL at Night hosts Taylor Morgan and Maura Carabello speak with Clark Aposhian, chairman of the Utah Shooting Sports Council about gun violence.
9 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Utah doctors report rise in breathing problems likely due to smoky skies