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Soaring Temperatures Prompt Pa. Health Warning

July 26, 2023

Pennsylvanians should brace for high temperatures and humidity that could make it feel hotter than 100 degrees this week, state officials said.

On Tuesday, state agency leaders urged everyone to take precautions against the summer heat. The message is particularly vital to protect older adults, young children, people working outdoors, pets, and livestock.

“It is important to understand the spectrum of heat-related illnesses, including heat cramps (mildest), heat exhaustion and heat stroke (most severe),” state officials said. “Awareness allows you to prevent heat related illness and recognize early stages, intervene as early in the course as possible, and help in an emergency.”

Heat-related illnesses include:

  • Heat cramps:  Painful muscle cramps and spasms that occur during or after exercise and sweating in high heat.
  • Heat exhaustion:  Heavy sweating, paleness, muscle cramps, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache, fainting, and nausea or vomiting.
  • Heat stroke:  A high body temperature; red, hot and dry skin, but no sweating; a rapid pulse; throbbing headache; dizziness; nausea; confusion; and unconsciousness.

“Older adults are at higher risk for heat-related illness or worse,” said Secretary of Aging Jason Kavulich. “They also may not have access to fans, air conditioners, or may have limited mobility to escape extreme heat. So it’s important that all of us check on our older family members, neighbors, and friends to make sure they stay cool and hydrated.”

Additional information about what to do in the event of heat-related illnesses and when to seek medical care is available online. The CDC’s Heat and Health tracker also provides updates on extreme heat events in U.S. counties.