For Immediate ReleaseSeptember 01, 2017
Triple-digit temperatures prompt warning from National Weather Service
San Rafael, CA – The National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Warning through the Labor Day weekend for most of California, including Marin County. Additionally, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District has issued an air quality advisory because of smoke from Northern California wildfires blowing into the region.
Marin HHS reminds people to take the necessary precautions to avoid heat-related illnesses. Elderly people, infants and children, and people with chronic medical conditions are more prone to heat-related stress and injuries. Residents are encouraged to drink plenty of cool, nonalcoholic beverages regardless of activity level to help prevent heat related illness and injuries.
“This is a big weekend for people to be gathering together outdoors,” said Dr. Matthew Willis, the County’s Public Health Officer. “Alcohol increases the risk of heat stroke. It’s particularly important that people stay hydrated and try to stay out of the sun. Unfortunately, we are facing a combination of heat and poor air quality, and I encourage people with respiratory conditions to avoid extended time outdoors.”
Over the long weekend the high temperature forecasts may set new records for the area, and HHS encourages everyone to be on the lookout for heat-related illnesses, either in themselves or their families and friends.
Heat cramps occur as muscular pains and spasms due to heavy exertion. Although heat cramps are the least severe, they are often the first signal that the body is having trouble with the heat. Symptoms include painful cramps, especially in the legs, and flushed, moist skin. Treatment involves moving to a cool place to rest. Remove excess clothing and place cool cloths on skin and fan skin.
Heat stroke is a serious illness characterized by a body temperature greater than 105 degrees. Symptoms may include dry red skin, convulsions, disorientation, delirium and coma. Onset of heat stroke can be rapid; serious symptoms can occur within minutes. Treatment involves the rapid lowering of body temperature by taking a cool bath or applying wet towels to the body. Keep victims of heat stroke in a cool area and call 911 immediately.
Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat stroke that may develop due to a combination of several days with high temperatures and dehydration in an individual. Signs of heat exhaustion include extreme weakness, muscle cramps, nausea or headache. Victims may also vomit or faint. Heat exhaustion is treated with plenty of liquids and rest in a cool, shaded area.
Consider the following tips and suggestions to avoid heat-related illness, including:
For more information on how to stay safe during the heat wave and to avoid heat-related illness, visit www.CDC.gov/ExtremeHeat. Follow the Marin County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services on Twitter @marinsheriff and sign up for Nixle alerts at www.nixle.com or by texting your ZIP code to 888777.
Dr. Matthew WillisPublic Health OfficerHealth and Human Services
3240 Kerner Blvd.San Rafael, CA 94901(415) 473-4163Email: Dr. Matthew WillisMarin HHS website