Health Ministry warns of dangers of heat

As the nation continues to experience higher-than-normal temperatures, the Health Ministry wants Jamaicans to be aware that the extreme heat is a real threat to their health.

Heat stress occurs when the body is under stress from overheating.

Heat-related illnesses include heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat rash, or heat stroke, each with its own symptoms and treatments.

Symptoms can range from profuse sweating and dizziness to cessation of sweating and collapse.

The Met Office says higher-than-normal temperatures, averaging between 1 and 3 degrees, have been experienced across the island in recent weeks.

It adds that high humidity, produced by cloudy conditions or rainfall, could, however, cause these temperatures to feel even warmer.

Director of Emergency Disaster Management and Special Services in the Health Ministry Dr Nicole Dawkins says the reaction to the heat can occur very quickly for some persons.

She says there are persons who are at higher risk for heat stress.

These include the very young and the very old, persons on certain types of medication, those with mobility issues, children as well as persons who work outdoors or are engaged in activities that keep them in the sun for prolonged periods.

Dr Dawkins says individuals experiencing health issues brought on by the heat should try to cool down quickly.


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