Pollution increases rates of bronchitis, asthma and conjunctivitis; they recommend chin straps

According to reports from the health department (SEDES), environmental pollution and poor air quality have led to an increase in cases of conjunctivitis, asthma and bronchitis in Cochabamba.

Due to the thick smoke, health authorities recommend using masks and avoiding outdoor activities.

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Recently, the Climate Monitoring Center of the Physics Department of the Universidad Mayor de San Simón (UMSS) reported that the air quality index in parts of Beni, Cochabamba Tropical Zone and Santa Claus is in the range of “very harmful to health”. Cruz. The most affected areas include the Isiboro Sécure (Tipnis) Aboriginal territory and national park, as well as Chimoré and Ivirgarzama.

Regarding the occurrence of smoke or carbon monoxide (CO) in different parts of the country, this is due to fires. Pollutant concentrations in the city of Cochabamba are about 700 ppbv (parts per billion by volume); when they exceed 400 ppbv, they translate into “thick smoke.”


On Tuesday, Rubén Castillo, head of epidemiology at SEDES, reported that regarding environmental contamination, they had recorded cases of conjunctivitis, a total of 141 this week, an increase from the previous one.

“This is for passive surveillance; that is, health facilities. But if we do active surveillance, obviously cases will increase.”

Castillo said the reported cases correspond mainly to four cities: Sacaba, Colomi, Capinota and Alque.

Most cases occur in “economically active, young populations.”

Authoritative sources suggest that once symptoms such as eye mucosa appear, you should go to a health center for diagnosis and treatment in time.

“If we do not provide adequate clinical management, this clinical condition may be exacerbated.”

Castillo said the paintings mainly feature tropical themes.

“Unfortunately, people there no longer go to health centers to get treatment for these conditions. They treat themselves, which is also a problem for us because some complex conditions can even lead to trachoma, which is a conjunctivitis of chronic inflammation.”

Apart from conjunctivitis, people also suffer from other diseases due to pollution.

Castillo maintains that they monitor for the reactivation of asthma and chronic bronchitis, in addition to other respiratory diseases.

“We are quantifying cases. There is an increase,” he said.

poor air quality

Given the current poor air quality, the head of epidemiology at SEDES recommends the use of masks to help especially children, who are the group from whom cases of conjunctivitis and chronic respiratory diseases have been reported.

He explained that there are levels of risk depending on the area where the heat source is recorded.

“In our environment, we have very poor air quality (…). The situation is changing in the last two days and the rain has helped reduce pollution.”

SEDES recommends avoiding physical activity, especially in highly polluted open environments.

The National Medical Council issued a statement refuting such “indiscriminate, irresponsible and illegal attacks” that aggravate lung diseases and cause harm to vulnerable groups such as the elderly, children, and patients with underlying diseases. “Constitutes an attack on people’s health.” Bolivian people. “

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