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News, Updates & Events

Health precautions for poor air quality and pollution

July 5, 2023 -

The health impact of smoke and air pollution is compounded for people with risk factors such as cystic fibrosis, diabetes, pregnancy, having COVID-19, or being young or elderly.

The small particulate matter produced by smoke and pollution can travel into  lungs, causing irritation and inflammation, increasing the risk of exacerbations.  

In most instances symptoms are mild, but can include:
  • Sore throat
  • Eye irritation
  • Runny nose
  • Cough
  • Increased phlegm
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Headaches
More serious symptoms can include:
  • Shortness of breath
  • Severe cough
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Heart palpitations

What you can do

The best way to reduce the risk and protect against the harmful effects of smoke and air pollution is to limit exposure times and look for cleaner air. This can include:
  • Using a portable HEPA air filter cleaner in your home
  • Use public spaces such as a shopping mall or library as they tend to have cooler, filtered air
  • Keep windows and doors closed
  • Stay inside
  • Set air conditioning/heat pump to recirculate
  • Limit your time outdoors
  • If you are outdoors, consider the use of an N95 mask
You can keep up to date on the local air quality status in your area by visiting the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI). The AQHI is based on the number of smoke particles found in the air at a particular location. 

Trikafta eligibility announcement

September 7, 2022 -
Eligibility criteria was expanded on Tuesday, September 13, 2022, based on a recommendation from the Canadian Drug Expert Committee.

Read the BC Government announcement.

Important precautions to stay cool in the summer heat

July 29, 2022 -

In light of the ongoing heat warnings covering most of British Columbia,  a friendly reminder to take precautions this weekend to keep yourself safe and cool.  

Extreme heat considerations for people with Cystic Fibrosis (CF)

Two important considerations for people with CF to keep in mind during warmer temperatures include hydration and salt as well as enzyme protection. 

People with CF lose more salt than average through sweat, therefore putting them at a higher risk for dehydration. Dehydration can occur very quickly, especially in hot humid weather. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to take a drink – always keep up your fluid and salt intake in hot weather.

Here are some good resources regarding hydration and salt for people with CF:

Additionally, pancrelipase enzymes can be damaged at high temperatures. Please store your enzymes in a cool, dry place. Enzymes should be kept at room temperature, which is generally 15 C to 30 C. 

Do not store enzymes in warm places such as in direct sunlight, window sills, near heat sources, or in cars. Only keep enzymes in pockets or clothing for a short duration of time;the enzymes should be refreshed at the end of the day if kept in your pocket or purse. If there are any signs of moisture or melting in your enzymes,discard and use a new bottle. 

If you should have any questions on your specific hydration, salt, or enzyme protection needs – please reach out to your CF clinic dietitian.

Quick links for more information

For information on preparing for heat events, how to stay cool and signs of heat-related illness, visit the BC Centre for Disease Control website.

For additional information specific to infants and young children, HealthLink BC has posted info on:

National honours for two Cystic Fibrosis clinic team members

March 3, 2022 –
Sara Van Horn and Dr. Mark Chilvers have been honoured by Cystic Fibrosis Canada for years of exceptional service to individuals and families living with cystic fibrosis.

Read the full story.

New treatment drug a game changer for British Columbians living with cystic fibrosis

October 14, 2021 –
“I feel so good, it’s wild.” People in B.C. with cystic fibrosis will benefit from a new medication and additional support from provincial CF program.

Read the full story.

New program, drug coverage benefits people with cystic fibrosis

October 5, 2021 –
British Columbians living with cystic fibrosis will benefit from a first-in-Canada health improvement network along with provincial coverage of a new, triple-combination medication, Trikafta.

Read the full news release.

Dr. Mark Chilvers, medical director of Cystic Fibrosis Care BC, speaks to CBC Radio about access to Trikafta for patients with cystic fibrosis in B.C.

October 5, 2021 –
The B.C. government will provide access to a high-cost drug called Trikafta, which dramatically improves the quality of life for people living with CF.

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