Beloit Health System treats small number of patients with lung issues from Chemtool fire

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Dr. Joseph Kittah, a pulmonologist, said the health system has treated “under a dozen” patients who came in seeking treatment for respiratory symptoms believed to be caused by the smoke plume from the massive fire that is still smoldering on Prairie Hill Road in Rockton, Illinois.

A small number of patients have received treatment for acute respiratory symptoms related to the Chemtool fire in Rockton, according to a Beloit Health System pulmonologist, as officials urge residents take precautions to protect lung health.

“These are patients with known chronic lung disease,” Kittah said. “They have presented with acute respiratory issues and the patients lived close to the site of the incident.”

Patients were treated with inhalation therapy and steroids, Kittah said.

Winnebago County Health Department and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials said Wednesday the dust and other particulate from the smoke posed the greatest risk to air quality and lung health of those in the vicinity of the plant.

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