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Parts of Europe are experiencing a heat wave that is causing emergency situations for millions of residents. And, in the United States, many parts of the country are grappling with temperatures that remain unseasonably high.
Heat-related illnesses, like heat exhaustion and heatstroke can be life-threatening and often prevented.
Heat exhaustion can happen when your body becomes dehydrated and loses too much water and salt, as a result of high temperatures and humidity.
Those most at risk are older adults, those with high blood pressure and those who are working outside. Left untreated, heat exhaustion can progress to more a severe heat-related illness, a heat-stroke.
Heatstroke is caused by your body overheating, usually as a result of prolonged exposure to or physical exertion in high temperatures. This most serious form of heat injury, heatstroke, can occur if your body temperature rises to 104 Fahrenheit (40 Celsius) or higher.
Untreated heatstroke can quickly damage your brain, heart, kidneys and muscles. The damage worsens the longer treatment is delayed, increasing your risk of serious complications or death.
Preventing illness is not always possible. Seek immediate medical attention if you are concerned someone is showing signs of a heat-related illnesses including a heat-stroke. Those signs and symptoms may include fever of 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) or greater, confusion or agitation, heavy sweating and vomiting.
For more Mayo Clinic stories on heat-related illnesses on weather, see these related posts:
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