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

Penelope the cat showed up safe and sound at her owner’s porch after an unusual trip through the news cycle in recent weeks. (Photo courtesy of Reuniting Owners with Animals Missing)
Penelope, cat and friend of the Victoria HarbourCats, returns home safe

The cat had an after an unusual trip through the news cycle in recent weeks

Saanich police detectives are investigating a reported sexual assault that occurred near Glanford Park on the evening of Dec. 29, 2020 and have shared an artist’s rendering of the individual. (Image via Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers)
Saanich police release sketch of suspect sought in December sexual assault

Anyone with information asked to contact detectives, Crime Stoppers

The Compost Education Centre is hosting its annual spring plant sale on May 8 at 1216 North Park St. Physical distancing protocols will be in effect during the sale, which runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Black Press Media file photo)
This weekend: Tenth annual spring plant sale hosted by Victoria Compost Education Centre

The non-profit event Saturday, May 8 will feature numerous varieties of plants, live music

Ally Thomas, 12, seen in an undated family handout photo, died on April 14 from a suspected overdose. Her family says they are frustrated more public supports weren't available when they tried to get her help. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Minister says suspected overdose death of 12-year-old pushes B.C. government to ‘do better’

Minister Sheila Malcolmson of Mental Health and Addictions says the government is working ‘as hard as we can’ to build a system of care for youths

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Ladysmith RCMP safely escorted the black bear to the woods near Ladysmith Cemetary. (Town of Ladysmith/Facebook photo)
Black bear tranquillized, relocated after wandering around residential Ladysmith

A juvenile black bear was spotted near 2nd Avenue earlier Friday morning

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

At this Highway 3 check point, police officers will be asking for identification from drivers, documentation regarding the driver’s name and address, and the purpose for the driver’s travel. (RCMP)
No fines handed out at 1st COVID-19 roadblock as checks move across B.C.

Cpl. Chris Manseau says a total of 127 vehicles were stopped at a roadblock in the Manning Park area

A spectator looks on as the Olympic Caldron is relit in downtown Vancouver, Wednesday, February 12, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Small majority of B.C. residents in favour of a Vancouver 2030 Olympic bid: survey

A new survey shows a split over the possibility of public money being spent to organize and host the winter games

Most Read