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The heat index goes over 100 degrees today, Georgians urged to use caution | Weather

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The heat index goes over 100 degrees today, Georgians urged to use caution
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The heat index goes over 100 degrees today, Georgians urged to use caution

Atlanta, GA --  The heat across the country has reached dangerous levels.  People are advised to check with senior citizens and pets to make sure they have enough water and the ability to keep cool.  The following is a letter from the Georgia Department of Public Health urging Georgians to use caution.

As the heat index is expected to reach over 105 degrees today, the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is warning all Georgians to exercise caution in the extreme heat. The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a heat advisory that will remain in effect today from 11 a.m. to 5 a.m. Wednesday for much of Central and portions of North Georgia.

“Everyone should take proper precautions to stay safe in this extreme heat by staying hydrated and wearing protective clothing,” said Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D., DPH Commissioner. “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, extreme heat causes about 400 deaths across the nation each year. Children and the elderly are particularly at risk during such high temperatures, and should be monitored closely.”

The high today is expected to be from 95 to 100 degrees this afternoon. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has issued a Code Orange Air Quality Alert for Atlanta, which means air pollution may be unhealthy for some people, particularly children, the elderly and those with asthma.  

It’s important to know the signs and symptoms of medical conditions that can occur as a result of heat. Heat exhaustion symptoms are heavy sweating, weakness, cold, pale and clammy skin, a thready pulse, and possible fainting and vomiting. Heat stroke is a severe medical emergency that occurs when the body temperature reaches 106 degrees or higher. Symptoms include hot dry skin, rapid and strong pulse, and possible unconsciousness. Summon immediate emergency medical assistance.

The Georgia Department of Public Health is encouraging Georgians to follow these tips to stay safe in extreme heat:

Stay hydrated. When working outside, drink plenty of water even if you are not thirsty, and take rest breaks in the shade. Avoid alcoholic beverages or those containing caffeine as they cause dehydration.

Stay Cool Indoors. The best way to beat the heat is to stay in an air conditioned area. Finding a place to cool down, at least temporarily, can provide some relief and allow a person’s body to recover from higher temperatures. If you don’t have an air conditioner, go to a shopping mall or public building for a few hours.

Avoid sun exposure.  Reduce exposure to the sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. when UV rays are strongest, and keep physical activities to a minimum during that time.

Use a buddy system.  Check on your friends, family, and the elderly.  Monitor elderly neighbors and relatives often to watch for signs of heat-related stress. The elderly population and those with weakened immune systems are more likely to suffer from extreme and prolonged exposure to heat.

For more information on DPH, visit www.health.state.ga.us.

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