DOH warns public against heat stroke
MANILA, Philippines–Keep cool. Stay indoors. Drink plenty of water and stock up on ice.
In the next two days, when the heat index is expected to rise to scorching levels, the Department of Health (DOH) has urged the public to guard against heat stroke and to take the necessary precautions to stay healthy during this period.
In an advisory on Wednesday, the health agency stressed that the risk of heat stroke—which is considered a medical emergency—increases during hot and humid conditions, especially during exercise, prolonged exposure to direct sunlight and when the body is dehydrated.
To keep cool during the hottest days to be recorded so far this summer, avoid spending so much time outdoors and drink water rather than tea, coffee, soda and alcoholic beverages, the DOH has advised.
The weather bureau, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Administration (Pagasa) earlier warned that the heat index would rise up to 40.2 degrees Celsius on Thursday and to 39.9 degrees Celsius on Friday.
Pagasa warned that temperatures between 32 and 41 degrees Celsius are under “extreme caution” and heat cramps and heat exhaustion are possible.
When sun exposure is unavoidable during these days, the DOH said people must wear wide-brimmed hats and long-sleeved clothing. Strenuous activities and exercise must be scheduled either at the beginning or end of the day, when the temperature is cooler.
In case of heat stroke, the patient must be immediately moved to a shady area or indoors and have him or her lie down with the legs elevated, advised the health agency.
Ice or ice packs must be applied to the armpits, wrists, ankles and the groin and cool water on the skin to lower temperature, it added. The patient must be immediately transferred to a hospital after receiving first aid, the DOH said.
Heat stroke occurs when the body overheats. When untreated, it can damage the brain, heart and kidneys, resulting in serious complications or even death.
Symptoms include dizziness, fainting, headache, intense thirst and dehydration and a very high temperature and rapid heartbeat, among others.