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The climate change issue, which is usually viewed as a distant impending global catastrophe, may not be as far away as most people believe. Climate change is rapidly becoming the most severe epidemic of our time, surpassing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Climate change is affecting people from all socioeconomic groups in nearly every country, whether developed, developing or the third world. And now the world has its first patient diagnosed with 'climate change.'

A doctor in Canada's British Columbia province has identified a 70 year old woman with 'climate change,' possibly the first such case to be documented. The patient had breathing problems that appeared to be linked to climate change.

The patient's symptoms were attributed to poor air quality and heatwaves in Canada, prompting Dr Merritt, the head of Kootenay Lake Hospital's emergency room (ER) department, to make his first climate change the clinical diagnosis.

Impact of heatwaves fueled by climate change

Air quality has been compromised as a result of five days of heatwaves and thick smoke from wildfires, posing a health risk.

The patient was struggling to breathe, reports an international media outlet after the recent wildfires in the Kootenays exacerbated her asthma. According to the BC Wildfire Service website, the Kootenays region in British Columbia has seen over 1,600 wildfires this fiscal year, making it one of the worst-affected regions.

Also Read: NASA releases picture of X-Shaped Red Rectangle Nebula shining like a ‘beacon’

Hundreds of people died as a result of the heatwaves in Lytton, British Columbia, which reached an all-time high of 49.6 degrees Celsius on June 29 this year. At the ongoing COP26 Summit in Glasgow too, the link between public health and climate change has been a hot topic.

The diagnosis

The case was diagnosed by Dr Merritt, who believes it is the right time for doctors to consider the underlying cause of medical conditions triggered by heat and smoke.
The patient was reportedly having trouble breathing after the recent wildfires in the Kootenays aggravated her asthma. Poor air quality and heatwaves, according to health workers, were to blame for the patient's symptoms, forcing them to make a clinical diagnosis.

The heatwaves, combined with thick smoke from wildfires, lowered air quality, causing breathing problems.

COVID-19 pandemic, heatwaves, wildfires, and air pollution were all linked to extreme climate changes. According to the World Health Organization, climate change will kill 250,000 people per year between 2030 and 2050.

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