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

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

air qualityBC wildfires 2018Ministry of Health

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared last Thursday (Nov. 19). (Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
41 positive COVID-19 cases associated with the LNG Canada site outbreak

Thirty-four of the 41 cases remain active, according to Northern Health

Cases have gone up in Northern Health in the past week, as they have all over B.C. (K-J Millar/Black Press Media)
Northern Health reports new highest number of COVID-19 cases in one day

Nineteen cases were reported to Public Health last Tuesday (Nov. 17)

FILE – British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry wears a face mask as she views the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Masks now mandatory in all public indoor and retail spaces in B.C.

Many retailers and businesses had voiced their frustration with a lack of mask mandate before

(Photo courtesy of LNG Canada)
An aerial shot of Cedar Valley Lodge this past August, LNG Canada’s newest accommodation for workers. This is where several employees are isolating after a COVID-19 outbreak was declared Thursday.
COVID-19 outbreak at LNG Canada Project site

14 employees have tested positive for COVID-19 at this time

A bus shelter in White Rock is emblazoned with an ad from B.C.’s Office of the Human Rights Commissioner on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. (Black Press Media files)
VIDEO: ‘Am I racist?’ campaign asks British Columbians to confront their unconscious biases

Signs asking British Columbians to think about racial injustice have been put up across the province

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond speaks to a reporter in Vancouver on November 13, 2015. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
No evidence that B.C. ER staff played blood alcohol level game, but Indigenous racism widespread

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond releases findings of independent investigation

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

B.C. Finance Minister Carole James and Premier John Horgan announce $5 billion emergency fund for COVID-19 unemployment and other relief, B.C. legislature, March 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
Carole James stays on to advise B.C. Premier John Horgan

Retired finance minister to earn a dollar a year

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Langley RCMP issued a $2,300 fine to the Riverside Calvary church in Langley in the 9600 block of 201 Street for holding an in-person service on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, despite a provincial COVID-19 related ban (Dan Ferguson/Black Press Media)
Langley church fined for holding in-person Sunday service

Calvary church was fined $2,300 for defying provincial order

A pedestrian makes their way through the snow in downtown Ottawa on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Wild winter, drastic swings in store for Canada this year: Weather Network

In British Columbia and the Prairies, forecasters are calling for above-average snowfall levels

Most Read