Health Risks Rise Along with Soaring Temps
According to the National Weather Service, “feels like” temperatures over 100 degrees—expected to continue throughout the Central and Eastern US—can be very dangerous. High temperatures and humidity, caused by a “heat dome” trapping hot air in the atmosphere, have resulted in 6 deaths in recent days. Young children, the elderly, and people with chronic illnesses are especially vulnerable to the effects of the heat.
It’s important to stay hydrated and find ways to cool off. Many cities have opened cooling centers to provide air-conditioned shelter for residents. It’s also important to check on elderly family members, friends, and neighbors, and learn to recognize the signs of heat-related illness.
Heat exhaustion causes excessive sweating, fainting or dizziness, cool or clammy skin, nausea, muscle cramps, and rapid-weak pulse. If heat exhaustion occurs, get to a cooler place, drink plenty of water, and use cool compresses or take a cool shower. Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke—which is a medical emergency. Call 911 immediately if you suspect heat stroke. Signs include throbbing headache, hot and dry skin (lack of sweating), nausea or vomiting, rapid-strong pulse, and loss of consciousness.
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