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Health Officials Counter Claims of Pneumonia Risk from FiresHealth Officials Counter Claims of Pneumonia Risk from Fires
Associated Press (10/11/00)
Health officials in Montana have clarified there is no increased risk of pneumonia from forest fire smoke. Dr. Bill Bekemeyer, a Missoula lung specialist, said there is no evidence of exposure to smoke causing a need for pneumococcal vaccinations. The confusion stems from an advertising campaign from a nonprofit Helena-based health foundation that included information about both wood smoke and pneumonia shots. The ads, which Mountain-Pacific Quality Health Foundation notes were not intended to imply a relationship between smoke and vaccines, stated that people with lung disease can be affected by fire smoke and encouraged older residents and individuals with compromised lung health to get vaccinated against pneumonia.