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Alarming Rise: Heat-Related Emergencies Explode in US

US is grappling with an unprecedented heatwave

United States: Soaring temperature and heat-related illnesses have become a matter of concern as approximately a 90 percent hike has been seen in such illnesses – which can be life-threatening.

As per the authorities, the heightened temperature is majorly recorded in Central Texas. Between April 1 and June 16 this year, Austin-Travis County EMS logged 270 incidents of heat-related illnesses, a stark increase from the 162 cases documented during the same timeframe in 2023, according to thedailytexan.com.

Captain Christa Stedman, the public information officer for Austin-Travis County EMS, noted a consistent annual uptick in call volumes, correlating directly with the relentless rise in temperatures.

“Climate change is unequivocal,” stated Stedman, adding, “Its impact is pervasive, manifesting in heightened extremities during summer and winter alike. This trend of escalating numbers is expected to persist year after year,” according to the reports by thedailytexan.com.

Stedman emphasized that Austin-Travis County paramedics are adeptly trained to anticipate heat-related emergencies, recognizing that such environmental afflictions are rampant during the summer. She categorized heat-related illnesses into three ascending severities: heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and the most dire, heat stroke—a critical medical emergency.

Julianne Bantayan, a senior in environmental engineering and sustainability studies, recounted her personal vulnerability to heat-related conditions due to prior use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

“The SSRIs heightened my susceptibility to heat exhaustion and heat stroke,” Bantayan disclosed. “Enduring Texas’s summer heat became overwhelming, and prolonged exposure was simply untenable.”

Raised in the Philippines, Bantayan expressed how the climate crisis and rising sea levels profoundly affect her, as both she and her family continuously endure these environmental shifts.

“In Texas, we often take air conditioning for granted,” Bantayan observed. “But in the Philippines, such luxury is not commonplace. At my grandmother’s house, devoid of air conditioning, even December, which should be cooler, was unbearable, resulting in excessive sweating and heat exhaustion,” thedailytexan.com mentioned.

Stedman stressed the importance of recognizing the symptoms of various heat-related illnesses and urged Austinites to brace themselves for the intensifying heat.

Stedman’s recommendations include:

– Identifying signs and symptoms of heat-related conditions

– Hydrating prior to outdoor activities and during exertion

– Consuming full meals

– Applying sunscreen

– Wearing light-colored, loose attire and hats

“You must remain humble in the face of heat,” Stedman warned. “The heat spares no one. Regardless of perceived toughness, anyone can succumb to it.”

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