This extreme heat and high humidity can cause health problems, especially if you stay in the heat for too long.
A heat wave affects people and animals. It affects not only people with chronic illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, and cancer but also people who do labor-intensive work outside in the heat. Other groups that run a higher risk of complaints are the elderly, small children, and people who are overweight or obese. They can get health problems during days of extreme heat or a heat wave.
During days of extreme heat or prolonged exposure to the heat, we sweat more than usual, lose moisture, and make us feel sick. High temperatures can cause headaches, dizziness, vomiting, fainting, and stroke.
Heat stroke is a delicate condition where the body stops sweating. The body temperature rises above 40 degrees Celsius and interferes with the control mechanism that regulates body temperature. This control mechanism is in the brain.
The symptoms include warming up of the body, red and dry skin, rapid breathing, heart and kidney failure, the person gets confused, and there is a risk of diarrhea and vomiting.
Heat stroke can lead to brain damage and can even be fatal.
What to do in case of heath stroke?
- Seek immediate medical attention;
- keep the person calm and find a fresh place;
- loosen the clothes as much as possible.;
- cool the body with a wet towel or cloth (with cold water or water from the tap);
- use ice or an ice pack under the armpits, in the neck, on the back, on the stomach, and or between the legs;
- if the person is conscious, please do not give them too cold water to drink;
- have the person lie flat with the legs up.
The Department of Public Health advises the community to avoid the sun between 11:00 AM and 2:00 PM. Drink enough water throughout the day and limit physical activity during these hot hours. Pay extra attention to the small children and elderly persons. Ensure they are well hydrated. If they show symptoms, take them immediately to the doctor or emergency room.
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