State health officials issue public health advisory due to heat - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

State health officials issue public health advisory due to heat

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MADISON (WKOW) -- The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has issued a public health advisory due to the heat forecasted for this week.

"We are asking everyone to take precautions to avoid heat exhaustion and to check on their family, friends and neighbors who may be especially vulnerable to extreme heat," said State Health Officer Dr. Henry Anderson. "By making everyone aware of safety measures and helping them recognize the warning signs of heat exhaustion, we can prevent heat-related illness and death."

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include fainting, rash, fatigue and nausea, and the skin may become clammy and moist or hot and dry. If these symptoms appear, take immediate actions to reduce body temperature.

When temperatures are above 90° F, the following actions are recommended:

  • To avoid dehydration, a conscious effort should be made to drink more fluids during hot weather. Rapid weight loss may be a sign of dehydration.
  • Use fans to increase ventilation unless temperatures exceed 90° F, at which point fans become ineffective in reducing heat-related illness.
  • Cool showers, baths and sponge baths can be used to reduce body temperatures. Wet clothing also has a cooling effect.
  • Spend the hottest part of the day in a cool, preferably air-conditioned place. If you do not have air conditioning at home, try to get to a location that does, such as a public library, community center, or a shopping mall, or visit a nearby cooling center. For information about a cooling center near you, dial 2-1-1.
  • Make frequent checks on the status of elderly or ill relatives or neighbors. If necessary, move them to an air-conditioned environment during the hottest part of the day.

Health officials say the onset of heat stroke can be rapid and may progress to life-threatening illness within minutes. Serious cases require emergency medical care.

They also say make sure to avoid leaving anyone unattended in cars, especially children or pets.

You should also schedule any physical activity to avoid the hottest part of the day. If you do need to exercise at that time, make sure to drink plenty of fluids and take frequent breaks.

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