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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – More than 600-people die from extreme heat in the U.S. every year.
The Centers for Disease Control warns July is the deadliest month for it.
Heat waves across the country this summer are being blamed for several deaths and hospitalizations. The CDC estimates nearly 40-percent of heat-related deaths happen in July.
“It doesn’t need to be a 100 (degrees), if it’s warm and humid, if you’re doing an activity that’s very strenuous, you can suffer a heat illness,” said Dr. Tom Waters.
Waters, an emergency room doctor with the Cleveland Clinic, said it’s crucial to recognize heat illness.
“By the time you’re thirsty, you’re already getting dehydrated,” he said.
Signs of heat exhaustion include nausea, dizziness, light-headedness, and headaches. The young or elderly are at higher risk.
“This is not something you want to tough it out or work through. If you start to get symptoms of heat exhaustion, what you need to do is remove yourself from the heat stress,” said Waters.
If you don’t, it could become heat stroke. That’s when the body can no longer cool itself and confusion sets in. Uf left untreated it can be life-threatening.
Jose Perez and his crew drink plenty of water to stay hydrated when they’re fixing gas lines during the hottest part of the day.
“We try to go do some work then go take a break, a water break, shade break, whatever we gotta do to keep going. But if it gets too much, we’re done,” he said.
Experts say prevention is the best way to beat a heat illness.
Nearly half of all heat-related deaths last year happened indoors. Victims were generally women over the age of 75, often living alone.