Heat Illnesses and Deaths

8 years 2 months 1 week ago Monday, August 09 2010 Aug 9, 2010 Monday, August 09, 2010 9:32:35 PM CDT August 09, 2010 in News

JEFFERSON CITY - Temperatures are up, but heat related deaths are down so far this summer. There were 11 heat related deaths last year in Missouri but so far, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said there have been no reports of heat related deaths this year.

However, there have been reports of heat related illnesses; 502 for the state of Missouri and 14 for Mid-Missouri. Lori Harris-Franklin, an epidemiology specialist for MDHSS, said there are three stages to look out for: getting a headache, nausea and stroke.

"If you start getting that headache and you go get in the shade or in the air conditioning and cool down and it doesn't go away within thirty minutes to an hour you really should go get medical attention because you may be dehydrated to the point where you need some IV fluids," Harris-Franklin said.

"If you don't have air conditioning at home," Harris-Franklin said, "we do recommend that people go to a cooling center or some place with air conditioning."

That's just what seniors are doing in Jefferson City. Two senior centers, the Clarke Senior Center and the Senior Center at Capital Mall said since the heat wave, the is more traffic. On average, about twenty more people per day.

"People are staying at the centers longer just to kind of hang out and have a cool place to be," Doyle said.

Seniors aren't the only ones who should worry about the heat. MDHSS says ages range from 17-75 for those who were reported with heat related illnesses.

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