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IMD's heatwave warning: Here're 6 common health problems to look out for

An orange alert has also been issued for parts of Bihar, West Bengal, and Delhi amid rising temperatures


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BS Web Team New Delhi

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On April 16, in Maharashtra, at least 12 people died due to heat stroke while attending an award ceremony in Navi Mumbai. Following this, on Monday, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) issued a heatwave warning for several states in India. 

An orange alert has also been issued for parts of Bihar, West Bengal, and Delhi amid rising temperatures. According to media reports, Naresh Kumar, an official at IMD, said that there will likely be a two-day marginal heatwave condition due to the increase in temperature 

What is a heatwave?

According to a report in Indian Express, a heatwave is a period of high temperatures, which is more than the normal maximum temperature. A heatwave occurs during the summer season in the northwestern and Southcentral parts of India. Heatwaves are most prevalent between March and June. However, in some rare cases, it is even experienced till July. 

Effects of a heatwave?

Exposure to a heatwave can impact humans and animals adversely. It is considered one of the most dangerous natural hazards, according to World Health Organization. It can also acutely impact large populations for a brief period of time, often trigger public health emergencies, and result in excess mortality. 

Common health problems to look out for in heatwave

Dehydration: According to Mayoclinic, it occurs when one uses or loses more fluids than they take in, and the body does not have enough water to carry out its normal functions.

Heat Exhaustion: It is a more severe form of dehydration. It occurs when the body is unable to regulate the temperature and becomes overheated. Some of the symptoms include heavy sweating, dizziness, headache, and fainting among others

Respiratory problems: Persistent heat waves can worsen respiratory problems like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma. 

Skin problems: Sunburn, and heat rash is among some of the prominent skin problems that can one face owing to prolonged exposure to sun and high temperatures.

Heatstroke: It is a life-threatening condition that occurs when the body's temperature is above 104°F (40°C). Symptoms of heatstroke include confusion, seizures, rapid heartbeat, and unconsciousness. It requires immediate medical treatment.

Heat Cramps: Painful muscle spasms that occur after carrying out physical activity in hot weather are known as heat cramps. It is caused by a loss of electrolytes and fluids due to sweating.

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First Published: Apr 17 2023 | 9:12 PM IST

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