Officials emphasize extreme heat can be dangerous

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The oppressive heat just will not relent and forecasters say record highs could fall today. Co-Chair of the Division of Disaster Medicine and EMS at LSU Health Science Center in New Orleans Dr. Jim Aiken urges the public to practice heat safety.

“We’re seeing almost no end to this. The heat index may be as high as 117 or 118. I’ve not seen anything like this before and it’s got us very concerned. The best plan is just not to expose yourself to it.”

We could see heat index values of 115 degrees or above over the next couple of days. Aiken says if you work outside, try to manage outdoor activity…

“If you’re like a roofer, a gardner, a construction person on the street, if you have to be out there the key to this is to plan ahead.”

Symptoms of heat-related illness include dizziness, fatigue, faintness, headaches, muscle cramps, and increased thirst.

Aiken says the best plan is to stay hydrated and request breaks in the shaded areas as often as possible. He says high heat can lead to life-threatening illnesses that are avoidable.

“Over 700 people die every year of heat related illnesses. Almost all of it is preventable. So we just have to keep talking about this.”

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