Health symptoms associated with debris particles from tornado

By Beau Ebenezer

December 6, 2013 Updated Dec 6, 2013 at 11:59 PM CDT

WASHINGTON, Ill. -- Going through all of the wreckage from the November 17th tornado is just part of the challenge for Washington resident, Amy Pauly.

As she continues to look through rubble for family memories, she fights an itching irritation in her throat.

"Within the last 48 hours I have developed more of a cough that has surprised me because I thought I felt fine," said Pauly. "But I have that deep lung cough where you have stuff in there."

Doctors at OSF Medical Group in Washington have seen similar cases in several patients.

They said the cough is an irritated lung reaction to debris particles in the air.

"I don't think there will be chronic issues related to this, but only time will tell for us," said family practitioner, Dr. Shawn Piers.

Those who continue to go through debris without medical masks in the coming weeks may be at a higher risk.

Doctors advise residents with coughs or shortness of breath to see a doctor because the irritation could lead to bronchitis or other infections.

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