SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) - The dirty air caused by the inversion can lead to problems for people in sensitive air groups. Studies have shown it can also impact the body's ability to fight off illness even if you don't suffer from lung problems.
Doctor Cheryl Pirozzi is a Pulmonary Specialist at University of Utah Hospital. She's noticed a spike in the number of patients coming in with breathing issues. She notes many of them already have lung complications from asthma or COPD.
The doctor notes that lab studies have shown dirty air can impact the body's ability to fight off sickness.
"There is some impairment in the body's defense against infection."
Doctor Pirozzi notes a study done here in Utah which showed the number of cases of pneumonia spiked in older people during an inversion. Not only were there more cases, but they tended to be more severe.
Experts note the inversion can cause inflammation in the lungs and body. Which in turn makes it harder to fight illness and makes people more susceptible to getting sick.
Many residents tell us this is the worst inversion they can remember in recent years. Justin Keathley-Deras says he hasn't been able to go running like he used to. When he recently got sick he said it stuck around longer.
"I was sick for probably like a good two and a half, three weeks," said Keathley-Deras. "Normally this time of year everyone gets sick, but it only lasts three or four days."
Others we talked with had similar stories about coughs and colds lasting much longer than normal.
Experts claim the best advice is try to limit exposure to the dirty air, especially if someone is sick.
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