U.S. heat-related deaths are on the rise

June 22, 2013 at 12:02 AM
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ATLANTA, June 21 (UPI) -- Heat-related deaths are on the rise; in a two-week period in 2012, excessive heat exposure resulted in 32 deaths in four states, federal health officials say.

Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta said the study found the heat-related deaths in 2012 were four times the typical average for those states -- Maryland, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia -- for the same two-week period from 1999-09.

"No one should die from a heat wave, but extreme heat causes more deaths than any other weather event," a statement by the CDC said. "Extreme heat can lead to very high body temperatures, brain and organ damage, and even death. People suffer heat-related illness when their bodies are unable to properly compensate and cool themselves."

During high temperatures and high humidity people should:

-- Going to an air-conditioned place and wearing light, loose clothing.

-- Staying hydrated by drinking more water than usual and avoiding drinks with alcohol, caffeine, or carbonation.

-- Staying informed by tuning in to heat-related alerts in your area.

-- Watch for symptoms such as muscle cramping, heavy sweating, rapid heartbeat, nausea, or fainting.

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