Prevent heat-related illness (10/07/07)

NB 1144

July 7, 2010

FREDERICTON (CNB) - New Brunswickers are being advised by the provincial chief medical officer of health, Dr. Eilish Cleary, to take precautions to avoid heat-related illness.

When Environment Canada forecasts a humidex of 35 to 40, or if there is a succession of several hot days, people are at an increased risk of heat illness.

Those most at risk include older adults; children four years old and younger; people who are overweight; and those with chronic medical conditions, especially heart disease and high blood pressure.

Persons taking certain medications that impair the body's ability to regulate heat or perspiration, especially those with mental-health conditions, are at risk.

Persons who live alone, have difficulty in caring for themselves, or who are immobile and unable to relocate to a cooler environment, are also at high risk.

Even young and healthy individuals can be affected by heat if they engage in strenuous physical activities.

"Muscle cramps, fatigue, headache and nausea are all symptoms of heat-related illness," Cleary said. "Anyone experiencing symptoms of heat-related illness should be moved to a cool environment, drink cool, non-alcoholic beverages and rest. This simple act can save a life. If symptoms worsen or are severe, seek immediate medical attention. What may start as a milder form of heat-related illness might progress to heat stroke, which could be life-threatening."

To prevent heat illness, New Brunswickers should take these precautions:

Further information is online.



MEDIA CONTACT: Marie-Andrée Bolduc, communications, Department of Health, 506-444-3506.