Woman becomes world's first person diagnosed as suffering from 'climate change' 2 weeks ago

Woman becomes world's first person diagnosed as suffering from 'climate change'

Could this be the first of thousands to come?

In a landmark moment - and undoubtedly one to draw criticism in the weeks to come - a Canadian woman has been diagnosed as suffering from climate change.

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An elderly patient was reportedly suffering from numerous breathing complications that were exacerbated by the North American heatwave in June 2021.

Dr Kyle Merritt wrote "climate change" as part of the diagnosis and admitted that it was the first time he had written climate change as the cause of an illness.

"If we're not looking at the underlying cause, and we're just treating the symptoms, we're just gonna keep falling further and further behind," Merritt told Glacier Media.

Climate Dr Kyle Merritt/ Via Kootenay Medical Centre
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He continued: "She has diabetes and some heart failure… She lives in a trailer with no air conditioning.

"All of her health problems have been worsened and she's really struggling to stay hydrated."

In June, British Columbia experienced enormous temperatures that led to the deaths of over 500 people. Then throughout July and August, wildfires caused air quality to become 43 times worse than acceptably safe.

The World Health Organisation estimates that over 150,000 deaths occur annually due to dramatic climate events.

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"We're in the emergency department, we look after everybody, from the most privileged to the most vulnerable, from cradle to grave, we see everybody. And it's hard to see people, especially the most vulnerable people in our society, being affected. It's frustrating," Dr Merritt continued.

In response, the Doctors and Nurses for Planetary Health has been set up to address the intersection of medicine and climate change.

"This summer, our patients experienced extreme weather events of heat dome, drought, and severe wildfires," the group's website reads.

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