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Extreme heat in the PH: Health risks to watch out for this Summer 2023

Heat-related illnesses can happen when the body cannot cool itself in extreme heat, leading to an increase in body temperature that can damage organs.



Who is at greatest risk for heat-related illness?

  • Older adults

  • Children

  • Individuals with Chronic Conditions

  • Individuals participating in strenuous activities during a hot weather


What are the common heat-related illnesses?

  1. Heat Cramps: Least severe type of heat-related illness. They're painful muscle cramps and spasms that occur when someone does strenuous exercise or sweats excessively in hot conditions

  2. Heat Exhaustion: Heat exhaustion results from excessive sweating and inadequate fluid and salt replacement in extreme heat. It happens when the body cannot properly cool itself down, and if left untreated, it can escalate to heat stroke.

  3. Heat Stroke: Most serious type of heat-related illness, which happens when the body's ability to regulate heat is overwhelmed by extreme temperatures. This condition is a medical emergency and requires immediate treatment because it can be life-threatening.


Tips for Preventing Heat-Related Illness

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.

  • Avoid sugary or alcoholic drinks.

  • Wear lightweight and loose clothes.

  • Do outdoor activities when it's cooler

  • Reduce exercise in hot weather.


Warning Signs and Symptoms of Heat-Related Illness

  • High body temperature

  • Dizziness

  • Nausea

  • Headache

  • Heavy sweating

  • Loss of consciousness


If experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, you can perform the following first-aid immediately:

  • Move to a cool place and rest. Don't continue the activity.

  • Remove excess clothing and place cool clothes on skin; fan the skin.

  • Give cool sports drinks containing salt and sugar.

  • Consult a doctor or bring to the nearest emergency room



References:

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/heatrelated-illnesses-heat-cramps-heat-exhaustion-heat-stroke

https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=90&ContentID=P01611

https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/warning.html

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