More than 91 million Americans were subject in the South and Southwest. Heat alerts from the National Weather Service Tuesday, and there were 79 million of them Dangerous heat is expected to reach – Defined by the agency as a heat index greater than 103 degrees Fahrenheit.
(The heat index combines heat and humidity: for example, if the temperature is 98°F, The heat index will still be dangerous If the relative humidity is above 40%).
Cities with dangerous temperature indicators include Phoenix; Tucson, Ariz.; Houston and Austin, Texas, have all been sweltering under a constant heat dome for weeks. Phoenix has had 18 consecutive days above 110°F – an all-time record that is expected to be broken on Tuesday.
Due to climate change and El Nino, several days in this month have recorded the highest temperatures in the world.
These are the dangers of overheating and how to reduce them.
Such high temperatures, especially when combined with high humidity – which hinders the evaporation of sweat, the body’s cooling mechanism – can cause heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke, and increase the risk of diseases such as heart attacks.
Extreme heat is the most dangerous weather hazard in the United States. It kills an average of 700 people a year and resulted in more than 67,000 annual emergency room visits, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“This is the worst summer in recent memory,” said Frank Lovecchio, an emergency physician at a hospital in Phoenix. He told NBC News.They say their hospital is overcrowded because 20% of the current patients are due to heat-related illnesses.
Such numbers may be out of control, the CDC says, because heat-related deaths are often misclassified.
Who is most vulnerable?
Because heat stresses the heart and respiratory system, people with respiratory or cardiovascular problems are at higher risk for heatstroke, as are people whose bodies are less able to regulate temperature, such as infants, pregnant women, and the elderly.
Low-income urban areas, with more pavement, fewer trees and less grass; It can warm up to 20 degrees from the nearby suburbsAccording to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. People with low incomes, often without indoor air conditioning, are more likely to suffer from heat-related illness.
People who work outdoors are exposed to heat, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration The risk of dangerous accidents is high.Falling from roofs or mishandling machinery. The Texas Republican-led Legislature recently repealed workplace heat safety requirements in Dallas and Austin, leaving workers without legal protection against water outages.
How to prevent health problems
NWS and other weather and public health officials It recommends the following key strategies. To beat the heat
Drink plenty of water whether you feel thirsty or not. Avoid alcohol that increases dehydration.
Avoid strenuous activity. If you must exercise or work outdoors, try to do it very early or late when the temperature is lower.
Wear sunscreen to prevent sunburn, which contributes to dehydration and keeps your body cool.
Stay in air conditioned areas. “If your house doesn’t have air conditioning, go to the mall or the public library.” The CDC recommends. If you can’t find air conditioning, a cold shower or bath can help.
Know your risk
Dehydration is one of the main causes of heatstroke. If you don’t drink enough fluids to cool your body with sweatYour body temperature may rise and cause heat stroke, a fatal condition in which your body overheats. It can damage your brain, heart and kidneys.
Watch for signs Heat exhaustion, which comes before and can turn into heat stroke if left untreated. Symptoms include headache, nausea, dizziness and weakness.
Get immediate treatment if you sweat profusely and feel hot, or if you develop symptoms of heat stroke such as vomiting, flushed skin, rapid breathing, or palpitations.
What to do if symptoms appear
Heat exhaustion: The Mayo Clinic recommends that you sleep. Raise your legs above your heart, and drink water or sports drinks. If possible, take a cool shower, soak in a body of water, or apply cold water-soaked towels to your body.
If symptoms do not improve within an hour or if you have heat stroke, take a cold shower or apply ice packs to cool the body quickly and seek emergency medical attention.