I was chatting with one of my friend from West Malaysia earlier when he told me that Muar, Johor API index jumped up to 700+ today. So I checked the Malaysia Department of Environment to get the latest API readings.
To my shock, Muar API indes is double Hazardous, way higher from Condition Red. I searched for recent photos and I found one via Channel News Asia Facebook page.
I Muar is now under Emergency/Darurat because of this. The haze which came from a big forest fire in Sumatra, Indonesia could linger until August according to news report. Same goes to regions that is well within the affected area, Singapore, West Malaysia and Borneo Island. My place, Kota Kinabalu records a moderate haze level, 87. We are now affected by bad visibility, but I hope the condition improves in time.
The authorities from affected regions are now working together to solve this big problem.
People now are stocking up on breathing mask to avoid being caught ill by the haze. The haze brings fine particles which is hazardous to people, especially those who have a history of heart or lung disease.
As a precaution, below are common ailments caused by the haze, and what you can do about them (source):
Symptoms: Stinging, watery eyes
Advice: Use normal saline eyedrops or natural tear supplements to wash away any haze compounds or dust particles which may get into the eye.
Symptoms: Mild sneezing, runny nose; nasal congestion
Advice: Ask the pharmacist to recommend appropriate medication to reduce sneezing and congestion. If you are already taking medicine for sinus problems, make sure it is taken regularly. See a doctor if symptoms persist.
Symptoms: Dry, itchy throat; coughing
Advice: Get a pharmacist’s advice in recommending you a cough mixture. Keep well-hydrated by drinking about 10 to 12 glasses of water a day. See a doctor if phlegm increases and cough persists.
Symptoms: Difficulty in breathing; chest tightness
Advice: See a doctor immediately.You need not queue for treatment at a polyclinic if yours is a severe case. Asthmatics should always carry their inhalers. Take any prescribed medicine you have as instructed by your doctor. See doctor again if your condition does not improve.
When things gets worse, its better to use a good face mask,
Umm, okay.. this may not be a good mask to filter out bad particles.
Anyway, go get a good face mask at pharmacies near you. Better safe than never. You can check out daily updates on API level in malaysia here, www.doe.gov.my/apims/