B.C. sees 25% jump in inhaler use from wildfire smoke

Weekly increases saw thousands of people with breathing problems reach for their puffers during air quality advisories

Smoky skies across the province have caused breathing issues for many residents, leading to a 25 per cent increase in the amount of people seeking inhalers in recent weeks, according to the Ministry of Health.

The most recent data examines the week of August 13-19, 2018 and compares it against the previous four weeks, which saw an average of 15,781 prescriptions written each week. But for the week of Aug. 13-19, that jumped to 19,710 prescriptions.

Inhaler Prescriptions in B.C. July 16-Aug 12 vs Aug 13- Aug 19, 2018
Infogram

Northern B.C. was the most heavily affected area of the province, seeing a 42 per cent increase or more than 400 additional prescriptions written for inhalers.

The Interior of the province saw 1,500 more inhalers prescribed, or a 37 per cent increase, and Vancouver Island jumped 15 per cent increase, with over 400 more prescriptions.

Smoky skies have cause breathing problems for many people in B.C., causing a 25 per cent increase in inhaler prescriptions. File photo

RELATED: B.C. wildfire season now second worst in province’s history

“Wildfire smoke can have a negative impact on people who have asthma and other respiratory illnesses, children, pregnant women and the elderly,” said Stephen May, spokesperson for the Ministry of Health via email. “For most people, sheltering-in-place (a clean indoor air environment in their homes or indoor community facilities) is a reliable way to reduce their exposure to smoke.”

ALSO READ: A look at B.C. wildfire smoke from space

May added that staying indoors isn’t always an option for people who need to evacuate their homes, and adds that if people do self-evacuate, they can go to their nearest reception centre and register with Emergency Social Services.

He also added that for minor, non-emergency symptoms like eye, nose and throat irritation, people can call 811 or visit HealthlinkBC.ca .

Anyone with severe breathing problems or cardiovascular distress are asked to call 911.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Last year’s Langley volunteer extraordinaire pushes others to ‘give it a try’

Volunteering is incredibly gratifying and fun, says Sylvia Anderson in her call for 2019 nominees.

VIDEO: Koch’s OT winner sends Giants to sixth straight victory

Three games, three cities, three victories for the Langley-based hockey G-Men.

Tardi earns first victory in quest for third national title

A Langley-based junior curling team is in Prince Albert, Sask. for the Canadian championships.

VIDEO: Giants wrap southern swing with 6-4 win in Spokane

The Langley-based hockey team defeated the Chiefs Friday night.

Charges upgraded against mother of murdered Langley girl

Kerryann Lewis now faces first- rather than second-degree murder in the death of Aaliyah Rosa.

Students seen mocking Native Americans could face expulsion

One 11-minute video of the confrontation shows the Haka dance and students loudly chanting

B.C. VIEWS: Fact-checking the NDP’s speculation tax on empty homes

Negative-option billing is still legal for governments

May plans next move in Brexit fight as chances rise of delay

Some say a lack of action could trigger a ‘public tsunami’

Group challenges ruling for doctors to give referrals for services that clash with beliefs

A group of five Canadian doctors and three professional organizations is appealing

Major winter storm wreaks havoc on U.S. travel

Nearly 5,000 flights were cancelled Sunday around the country

CONSUMER REPORT: What to buy each month in 2019 to save money

Resolve to buy all of the things you want and need, but pay less money for them

Want to avoid the speculation tax on your vacant home? Rent it out, Horgan says

Premier John Horgan and Sheila Malcolmson say speculation and vacancy tax addresses homelessness

UPDATE: B.C. woman and boy, 6, found safe, RCMP confirm

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

Most Read