CAPE FEAR AREA, NC (WWAY) —Health officials are advising people to take steps to prevent heat-related illnesses as temperatures spike, ahead of the official start of summer. Wednesday and Thursday have been the hottest days in the year yet, reaching the upper 90’s.
Novant Health Brunswick Emergency Department Medical Director Doctor Ryan Jordanhazy and New Hanover County’s Assistant Health Director Carla Turner say heat exhaustion can make you nauseous, lightheaded, and fatigued. Heat stroke will cause you to lose consciousness, and can be fatal.
“People tend to underestimate just how dehydrated you can get, even if your outside even if it’s for thirty to forty-five minutes outside, but if the heat index is significantly elevated and that can sort of hit you pretty quick and leave you in a bad way,” said Dr. Ryan Jordanhazy, Novant Health Brunswick Emergency Department Medical Director.
“There’s going to be hotter days, we know that. Anybody that’s lived here long enough knows it’s going to get hotter in July and August. So go ahead and start making plans right now, and establish good habits now when you’re out in the heat. So, that when the temperature continues to rise, you’ll already have those habits in place,” said Carla Turner, New Hanover County’s Assistant Health Director.
Both advising people to find a space to cool down, stay hydrated, and wear loose fitting clothing to avoid heat related illness.
“If you’re going to be outside, try to be somewhere you can cool off. If you’re at the beach, or at a pool, or at the lake or whatever, somewhere you can get in the water safely, you want to do that on a routine basis. Just to get in there and cool your body heat down a little bit,” said Turner.
With many people visiting area beaches this time of year, Jordanhazy says the ER sees an increase in patients being treated for heat-related illnesses.
“It does seem to be getting hotter a little bit quicker this year. We’ve already seen a handful of patients in the ER with heat-related illness. It’s always a good idea to be really aware of all of the signs and symptoms or heat related illness. But it’s not surprising for us to see, you know five to ten people in one day, just for heat-related illness,” said Dr. Jordanhazy.
Health officials say people aged 65 and up may be more prone to heat related illnesses, advising them to be mindful of high temperatures and the heat index.
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