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Heat Alert For Eastern Carolina

Heat indices from 100 to 105 are expected across parts of Eastern Carolina Wednesday afternoon.

The heat index is the temperature the body feels when heat and humidity are combined. Exposure to direct sunlight can increase the heat index by up to 15°F.

Tips from health experts:

Be sure to dress in lightweight clothing, light-colored clothing and stay out of the sunshine as much as possible.

If you must work outdoors, drink plenty of water to help your body stay hydrated, take frequent breaks in an air-conditioned building and reduce your level of activity.

Be sure that pets and livestock have shade available, along with plenty of water to drink.

Click here for more information on heat, its dangers and how to protect yourself.

EXTENDED WEB COVERAGE:
Source: Centers for Disease Control

Warning signs of heat stroke vary but may include the following:

An extremely high body temperature (above 103°F, orally)
Red, hot, and dry skin (no sweating)
Rapid, strong pulse
Throbbing headache
Dizziness
Nausea
Confusion
Unconsciousness

What to Do:
If you see any of these signs, you may be dealing with a life-threatening emergency. Have someone call for immediate medical assistance while you begin cooling the victim.

Do the following:
Get the victim to a shady area.
Cool the victim rapidly using whatever methods you can. For example, immerse the victim in a tub of cool water; place the person in a cool shower; spray the victim with cool water from a garden hose; sponge the person with cool water; or if the humidity is low, wrap the victim in a cool, wet sheet and fan him or her vigorously.
Monitor body temperature, and continue cooling efforts until the body temperature drops to 101-102°F.

If emergency medical personnel are delayed, call the hospital emergency room for further instructions.
Do not give the victim fluids to drink.
Get medical assistance as soon as possible.

Sometimes a victim's muscles will begin to twitch uncontrollably as a result of heat stroke. If this happens, keep the victim from injuring himself, but do not place any object in the mouth and do not give fluids. If there is vomiting, make sure the airway remains open by turning the victim on his or her side.

Heat Exhaustion
Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness that can develop after several days of exposure to high temperatures and inadequate or unbalanced replacement of fluids. It is the body's response to an excessive loss of the water and salt contained in sweat. Those most prone to heat exhaustion are elderly people, people with high blood pressure, and people working or exercising in a hot environment.

Recognizing Heat Exhaustion

Warning signs of heat exhaustion include the following:
Heavy sweating
Paleness
Muscle cramps
Tiredness
Weakness
Dizziness
Headache
Nausea or vomiting
Fainting
The skin may be cool and moist. The victim's pulse rate will be fast and weak, and breathing will be fast and shallow. If heat exhaustion is untreated, it may progress to heat stroke.

Seek medical attention immediately if any of the following occurs:
Symptoms are severe
The victim has heart problems or high blood pressure
Otherwise, help the victim to cool off, and seek medical attention if symptoms worsen or last longer than 1 hour.

What to Do

Cooling measures that may be effective include the following:
Cool, nonalcoholic beverages, as directed by your physician
Rest
Cool shower, bath, or sponge bath
An air-conditioned environment
Lightweight clothing
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Heat Cramps
Heat cramps usually affect people who sweat a lot during strenuous activity. This sweating depletes the body's salt and moisture. The low salt level in the muscles causes painful cramps. Heat cramps may also be a symptom of heat exhaustion.

Recognizing Heat Cramps
Heat cramps are muscle pains or spasms—usually in the abdomen, arms, or legs—that may occur in association with strenuous activity. If you have heart problems or are on a low-sodium diet, get medical attention for heat cramps.

What to Do
If medical attention is not necessary, take these steps:
Stop all activity, and sit quietly in a cool place.
Drink clear juice or a sports beverage.
Do not return to strenuous activity for a few hours after the cramps subside, because further exertion may lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
Seek medical attention for heat cramps if they do not subside in 1 hour.

Source: Centers for Disease Control


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