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Greece’s Residents Told to Wear Masks Against Fires Residue

ATHENS – While visible white soot and ashes that covered much of Greece's capitals during wildfires that raged north of the city have waned, there are still so many micro-particles in the air that people are being advised to wear surgical masks.

Those are in wide use and availability because of the COVID-19 pandemic but the advice was for KN95 or N95 masks that offer more protection from the invisible particles that can infiltrate the lungs, with those having breathing problems most susceptible. 

The Hellenic Pulmonary Society Friday issued guidelines to residents and employees of areas near fire fronts to protect themselves from the smoke fallout that can reach even great distances across the country and damage health.

The group said that said people with serious underlying diseases, the elderly, children and pregnant women should completely avoid travel and movement outside the home, reported Kathimerini.

Those with chronic respiratory or cardiovascular diseases, should try to stay in air-conditioned spaces with closed windows and doors, it was especially recommended although the guidelines apply to all. 

Those who go outside should be masked and movement limited to cooler times of the day as a heatwave has partially retreated but conditions remain uncomfortable during the high time of the day.

People with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which are primarily aggravated by the environmental burden, should strictly adhere to their medication, and seek medical assistance if symptoms worsen, it was said.

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