Missouri health officials are urging you to stay hydrated and cool during this excessive heat. State Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) Bureau of Epidemiology Chief Jeff Wenzel says knowing the signs of heat exhaustion is key.
“You’re looking at heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness and weakness, dizziness and fainting,” Wenzel says.
Health officials recommend that you wear lightweight, light-colored clothing and stay cool indoors.
With heat indices expected well over 100 degrees in much of Missouri again Friday, state health officials recommend remaining vigilant about the dangers of heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wenzel says people experiencing heat exhaustion should move to a cool place.
“Give them some water or cold gatorade and seek medical attention if symptoms get worse or last more than an hour,” says Wenzel.
He says 19 Missourians died from heat-related illness in 2018, while there were 17 deaths in 2017.
DHSS encourages residents to call the state’s toll-free abuse and neglect hotline to report seniors and the disabled who are suffering from heat and need assistance.
That number is 1-800-392-0210.
State health officials say elderly residents are more vulnerable to heat and humidity because they perspire less. Wenzel urges you make sure your elderly neighbors and family members are cool and hydrated.
“They also may be on medication that would make them react differently to the heat,” Wenzel says.
He also says excessive heat can be especially dangerous to small children and the chronically ill.
You can find a link to all of the state’s cooling centers here.
Click here to listen to Brian Hauswirth’s full interview with DHSS Bureau of Epidemiology Chief Jeff Wenzel, which was recorded on July 18, 2019:
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