Oregon

Dry Weather Leaves Many Oregonians With Itchy Eyes, Scratchy Throats

OPB | Oct. 4, 2012 2:06 p.m. | Updated: Oct. 5, 2012 6:23 a.m. | Portland

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Facing the driest weather in decades, many Oregonians are suffering from itchy eyes and scratchy throats.

The Pole Creek fire has left Sisters with smoky skies.

The Pole Creek fire has left Sisters with smoky skies.

Dan Komning

Doctors say don’t worry, but stay indoors if you already have respiratory problems.

It’s not flu season yet, but wildfire smoke and dry east winds have many people coughing and sputtering.

State epidemiologist Doctor Katrina Hedberg says the unusual weather has stirred up a lot of small particles into the air. They can irritate noses and throats.

She says as the summer ends and fall begins, many pollens are released into the air, increasing allergies. And there’s another factor too, “We do know that every fall, when kids get back together and they’re in a class room for 5, 6, 7 hours a day in very close contact, certainly upper respiratory infections can be spread,” says Hedberg.

There’s not much relief in sight. Portland’s weather forecast doesn’t contain rain for at least week. And the National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for critical fire danger through Friday, because of the dry east winds.

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