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Forest fire smoke is hard on health – particularly those living with asthma

Forest fire smoke and lung health

The 2014 forest fire season was severe in western Canada. There was more than 360,000 hectares burned in BC and more than three million hectares burned in the Northwest Territories. These fires produce smoke that negatively affects air quality throughout the region. The BC Centre for Disease Control has developed the BC Asthma Monitoring System (BCAMS) to help provincial medical health officers to better understand the impacts of smoke in real time. This system uses information from the air quality monitoring network, satellites, and BlueSky smoke forecasting system to assess smoke exposure throughout the province. It displays these data along with information about the number of asthma-related physician visits and

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Take Action on Asthma

Asthma, common yet serious. Do you know a child with asthma?  Chances are you do.  As many as 1 in five Canadian children have asthma.  It is a disease that is common, but all too often the seriousness of the disease is not realized.  Asthma is the leading cause of hospital admissions among children and also one of the leading causes of school absences. Unfortunately asthma can also be deadly. 235 Canadians died from asthma in 2011 (1). Mike and Sheri (Lung Association of Saskatchewan Asthma Ambassadors) tragically lost their wonderful son, Emerson, in December 2013 at the age of

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Cold and Flu Season

Woman Blowing Nose

If it seems like everyone around you is sick, you could be right. According to the latest Public Health Agency FluWatch report, we are reaching the peak of the flu season. Best advice: stay home when you are sick, wash your hands frequently, cover your cough or sneeze into your elbow, and stay well rested. For those with COPD or asthma, call your health care provider, certified respiratory educator, or use your action plan if your condition seems to be worsening.

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Do not share your asthma medications with anyone.

During Lung Month, the Canadian Lung Association would like to remind people not to share their asthma medications with anyone. Asthma is a chronic disease that makes your lungs very sensitive and hard to breathe. Asthma can’t be cured, but with proper treatment, people with asthma can lead normal, active lives. It’s estimated that three million Canadians have asthma. “It is important to note that people with asthma can participate in sports if their asthma is under control,” says Marion Larocque, a certified respiratory educator with The Lung Association of Saskatchewan. “Never borrow someone else’s medications – all asthma medications

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SHRF Partnership

The Saskatchewan Health Research Foundation (SHRF) is offering a pilot funding program developed to encourage collaborative groups of health researchers to launch new ideas, develop new research questions, and explore unique solutions to health issues relevant to Saskatchewan. Funding is available for short-term research development projects of up to one year. This funding is intended to provide support for collaborative health research in its initial stages that will strengthen an application for funding to an entity other than SHRF within one year following the grant term. Researchers are encouraged to work with knowledge user co-applicants and collaborators where appropriate. SHRF

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Apps to use during forest fire season

forest_fires

As forest fires continue to burn throughout Western and Northern Canada this summer, residents of and visitors to Alberta may experience health effects due to smoke in the air.  On average, Alberta sees 1,600 forest fires burn between the months of April and October of a given year. It is also possible for forest fires burning in British Columbia and the Northwest Territories to prompt air quality advisories in Alberta. Not only do forest fires pose danger to natural habitat, but also to human health. To learn about: the health effects caused by forest fire smoke; ways to reduce exposure

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Forest Fires and Lung Health

forest_fires

Forest fires are often a concern in Canada, especially during dry, hot summers. People all over Canada may be affected by the smoke from forest fires. The Canadian Lung Association urges those with lung disease such as asthma and COPD to monitor their breathing and avoid exposure to smoke. If breathing problems develop, refer to your action plan or call your health-care provider. What type of health effects can be caused by forest fire smoke? For someone without lung problems, wood smoke can: irritate eyes, lungs, throat and sinuses increase the risk of heart attacks trigger headaches and allergies reduce

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Guest post from Dr. Josh Lawson: New Research on Asthma Rates in Saskatchewan

Josh

Asthma is one of the most common childhood diseases.  Past research has shown that the number of children with asthma was typically lower in rural areas compared to urban.  However, some rural factors (i.e. exposure to farm animals) that were thought to protect children from asthma, may actually result in worse health outcomes if a child does develop asthma.  The reasons for these differences are unknown, but certain environmental exposures may play a role, along with how the disease is diagnosed and reported.  It is important to identify reasons for these differences in asthma rates to understand why some children

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Spring and the Pollen Season are Just Around the Corner

Spring Pic

The forecast may call for cold nights and snowy days, but have faith; spring is almost here.  Along with the warm sun and melting snow comes the start of allergy season. Tree pollen season varies from year to year depending on the weather, but it can start long before you shed that winter coat. The poplar, cottonwood and aspen pollen season starts from late March to the third week of April. Elm pollen is present from the second week in April and end in late May. For a list of other pollens: read more. If you suffer from allergies and

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Elaine Clark – 2014 Stamp Out Asthma Raffle Winner

SOAR 2013 winner

Congratulations to Elaine Clark, grand prize winner of this year’s Stamp Out Asthma Raffle (SOAR) and $45,918 in tax-free cash. “I am very happy to be the winner of the Stamp Out Asthma Raffle (SOAR).  My son was diagnosed with asthma at a very early age.  As a parent, it is difficult and so frightening to listen to your child wheezing and gasping for air.  The Lung Association of Saskatchewan is a valuable source of information and resources.  It is a local Association well worth supporting.” All funds raised through SOAR benefit the 100,000 children and adults with asthma in

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