Death of 100 Mile House boy linked to wildfire smoke, BC health officials warn

The BC Coroner’s Service says it is investigating the death of nine-year-old Carter Vigh and how it is related to smoke from the wildfires.

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The parents of a nine-year-old boy from 100 Mile House confirmed that he died from an existing medical condition that was exacerbated by smoke from the bushfires.

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The BC Coroner’s Service says it is investigating the death of Carter Vigh and how it is related to smoke from the hundreds of wildfires that burn in the province during the hot, dry early summer.

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“The sudden and unexpected death of this child is a heartbreaking loss to his family and community,” the coroner’s service said in a news release Monday.

The boy’s mother, Amber Vigh, said in a statement on Facebook that she hopes to raise awareness about the seriousness of asthma.

“We want people to know how quickly things can change,” she said in the statement, adding that her son’s death came despite the family being diligent in his care, closely monitoring the boy’s condition and having a balloon ready.

Carter Vigh died last week at the hospital. His aunt, Anamaria Vigh, has started a GoFundMe Page for the family.

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The coroner’s service says people in BC are experiencing the impacts of climate change and “risks associated with smoke from wildfires, extreme heat and other environmental factors.”

The death is a reminder of the “tragic loss of life during the 2021 heat dome” and the potentially fatal impacts of BC’s increasingly challenging summer conditions.

Wildfire smoke is especially dangerous for people with heart and lung conditions, the elderly, and infants and young children.

It is important to protect yourself by staying indoors with windows closed, closing windows and using air conditioning when driving, reducing time outdoors and avoiding strenuous exercise, and, if possible, using a high-quality portable air purifier with HEPA filtration.

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If you need to, it’s also a good idea to visit places with controlled air, such as shopping malls, swimming pools, and public libraries.

The province issues air quality advisories when smoke from wildfires becomes a problem and people may sign up for those warnings automatically. More information on the risks of wildfire smoke is available at bccdc.ca.

[email protected]

— With an archive from The Canadian Press


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