Health officials warn against heat-related illness after heat advisory issued

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MADISON – State health officials have issued a public health advisory due to forecasts calling for temperatures this week in the mid to upper 90s, with heat indices ranging from 95 to 105 degrees.

Officials advise people to check on those who may be vulnerable to extreme heat. Most heat-related illnesses involve the elderly or individuals who have chronic illnesses, although children, athletes and outdoor workers are also at risk. 

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include fainting, rash, fatigue and nausea, and the skin may become clammy and moist or hot and dry. If these symptoms appear, take immediate actions to reduce body temperature.

When temperatures are above 90° F, the following actions are recommended:

  • To avoid dehydration, a conscious effort should be made to drink more fluids during hot weather. Rapid weight loss may be a sign of dehydration.
  • Use fans to increase ventilation unless temperatures exceed 90° F, at which point fans become ineffective in reducing heat-related illness.
  • Cool showers, baths and sponge baths can be used to reduce body temperatures. Wet clothing also has a cooling effect.
  • Spend the hottest part of the day in a cool, preferably air-conditioned place. If you do not have air conditioning at home, try to get to a location that does, such as a public library, community center, or a shopping mall, or visit a nearby cooling center. For information about a cooling center near you, dial 2-1-1.
  • Make frequent checks on the status of elderly or ill relatives or neighbors. If necessary, move them to an air-conditioned environment during the hottest part of the day.
  • Never leave anyone unattended in cars, especially children or any pets.  The temperature inside a car can rise to life-threatening levels in a matter of minutes, even with windows cracked open.
  • Strenuous activity should be avoided during the hottest part of the day. If such activity is unavoidable, drink plenty of fluids and take frequent breaks in air-conditioned or shaded areas. 

CLICK HERE for additional information from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

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