Heat-Related Illness - Experience

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What is a heat-related illness?

A heat-related illness is a medical condition that may occur as a result of heat exposure. Even short periods of high temperatures can cause serious health problems. Heat-related illness encompasses a spectrum of conditions that range from minor illnesses to life-threatening medical emergencies. There are several heat-related illnesses, including heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, heat syncope (fainting), and heat rash.

Summer can bring heat waves with unusually high temperatures that can last for days and sometimes weeks. According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 7,415 death due to heat-related illness in the United States from 1999 to 2010, or an average of approximately 618 death per year. Heat waves lead to more deaths annually in the United States than tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes combined. In the summer of 1980, a severe heat wave hit the United States, and approximately 1,700 people lost their lives from heat-related illness. Likewise, in the summer of 2003, tens of thousands of people died in Europe from an extreme heat wave. Most recently, the summer of 2012 heat wave in the United States led to many heat-related deaths, and numerous all-time high temperature records were broken throughout the United States. High temperatures put people at risk.

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