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DOH reminds public to guard against heatstroke

With high temperatures recorded across the country this summer, the Department of Health again reminded the public to take measures against heat exhaustion and the potentially deadly  heatstroke.

"Ang tendency kasi masyado tayong naglalabas ng tubig sa katawan natin dahil sa sobrang init. Hindi magiging komportable yung nararamdaman natin," said Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy, Program Manager of the DOH's Emerging and Re-Emerging Infectious Diseases unit, in a report on "Balitanghali" Tuesday.

An earlier report on state-run Philippine Information Agency described the symptoms of heat exhaustion as warm and flushed skin; a feeling of faintness, dizziness and weakness; and having a headache.

Heat exhaustion could lead to heatstroke, a more serious condition. According to the Mayo Clinic, the symptoms of heatstroke include a core body temperature of 40°C or more; rapid breathing; a racing heart rate; flushed skin; a headache; nausea and vomiting; muscle cramps or weakness; and unconsciousness.

Immediate treatment

A person suffering from heat-related ailments must be moved to a cooler, shady area. They should rest with their legs elevated and given water to drink if conscious. They should be provided ice packs if available, or have cool water applied to their skin and fanned. 

If a person is believed to be suffering from heatstroke, they must immediately be brought to a hospital for treatment.

According to the PIA report, DOH-6 Infectious Disease Cluster Head Dr. Elvie Villalobos' advice to protect against heatstroke includes keeping hydrated by drinking plenty of water; avoiding diuretics such as coffee, tea and alcohol; limiting the amount of time spent outdoors; and scheduling strenuous activities during cooler times of the day.

The DOH also urged the public to keep in mind that food spoils faster in the heat.

High temperatures and high humidity have been recorded over most of the country Tuesday,  though an official at the state weather bureau said that it could be even hotter than what the numbers say.
"Yun pong instrumento na ginagamit natin, yun pong init ng hangin ang nakukuha niya, kaya pag ikaw ay direktang matatamaan ng araw, magdadagdag ka pa ng dalawa o tatlo [degree] doon sa maximum temperature na nabanggit," said PAGASA forecaster Gener Quitlong in the "Balitanghali" report. — BM, GMA News