The Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) released data that shows that the number of visits to the Emergency Room (ER) for anaphylaxis in Ontario and Alberta has risen 95 percent over a seven-year period. Reasons for the jump are unclear, but one contributor is believed to be increased public awareness.

The past seven years, says a CIHI spokesman, have increased awareness of food allergy reactions. This, in turn, may have more people going to the ER for possible reactions than would have before. He does not discount an increased prevalence of allergies as well.

Anaphylaxis is the most serious type of allergic reaction.

About 2.5 million Canadians suffer from a food allergy and many of them have severe reactions, says Food Allergy Canada. Correlating with this, CIHI data shows an increase in the number of prescriptions for epinephrine auto-injectors to treat allergies.

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