The impact Cape Town fires could have on asthmatics

A UCT professor says CT's wild fires could trigger an asthma attack to those who were susceptible.

The Muizenberg fire seen spreading over the mountains of the Cape Peninsula on 2 March 2015. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Environmental pollution, like the wild fires currently crippling Cape Town's South Peninsula, could trigger asthma attacks to those susceptible.

This according to the Head of Division of Asthma and Allergy at University of Cape Town, Professor Mike Levin.

On Tuesday the City of Cape Town confirmed that 300 firefighters were currently deployed at points across the South Peninsula where fires were still raging.

"It's important for asthmatics to remember that if they have symptoms like using their medication twice a week, then the environment they are in is inadequate."

Levin conceded that there was no evidence that the smoke from the fires would cause asthma in people who don't have asthma, but he urged asthmatics not to get complacent.

"People must take their reliever medication everyday even if they don't feel ill. They must also look at the technique of taking the medication to make sure it's going into the right place in the lungs."

Levine added that asthmatics should try to minimise exposure by staying indoors or closing their windows.

Listen: The impact of the Cape fires on asthmatics.