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DHSS Press Release



Dr. Kara Odom Walker, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Pager 302-357-7498
Email: jill.fredel@delaware.gov

Date: July 2, 2018
DHSS-07-2018





DPH ADVISES RESIDENTS TO PREPARE FOR DANGEROUSLY HIGH TEMPERATURES THIS WEEK


DOVER (July 2, 2018) - As many Delawareans head outside for Fourth of July festivities, the Division of Public Health (DPH) encourages Delaware residents to prepare for extreme heat early this week and prevent heat-related illness as temperatures rise. Temperatures are expected to reach the mid-90s through Tuesday, with the heat index values as high as 105 degrees. The National Weather Service has issued an Excessive Heat Warning for New Castle County through 8 p.m., Tuesday, July 3, and a Heat Advisory for Kent County and inland Sussex County through 8 p.m., Monday, July 2.

Our bodies have less chance to recover during hot days and warm nights, placing everyone at risk for heat-related illness. When temperatures and humidity are high, sweat ceases to evaporate and the body's natural cooling system slows down or shuts down completely. Hot weather can cause heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and severe respiratory conditions, which can be fatal.

Extreme heat is especially dangerous for seniors, young children, people with disabilities, and people with breathing conditions and other chronic medical conditions, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and other respiratory problems. Higher temperatures, not even in the extreme, have also been associated with higher levels of inflammation in patients with preexisting heart health conditions. Also at risk are people without access to air conditioning, fans, or cooling shelters.

DPH suggests that every household make a heat wave plan in case of a power outage. Air conditioners should be serviced and electric fans should be obtained before the heat rises to dangerous levels. Residents should keep cases of bottled water on hand and listen to local news reports for the locations of community "cooling centers," which are often public libraries or churches. During days of extreme heat, Delawareans should check on vulnerable members of their families and neighbors, including seniors and those with access and functional needs.

For those who may need additional assistance, Delaware 2-1-1 connects Delawareans with critical services and support. Eligible callers can receive referrals to crisis assistance, and nearby cooling centers.

Tips to prevent heat illness:

For more information, visit the CDC at https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/hsb/extreme/Heat_Illness/index.html.

Make a Heat Plan for Pets: DPH also urges pet owners to make a plan for caring for their pets. Animals at the greatest risk of stress from the heat include pregnant or lactating animals, very young and older animals, animals with darker coats, obese pets, short-nosed dog breeds, and animals with chronic health conditions. Signs of heat stress can include panting, increased salivation, restlessness, muscle spasms, increased heartbeat and body temperature, weakness, lack of coordination, bright red or pale and sticky gums, vomiting, diarrhea, and depression.

A person who is deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind or speech-disabled can call the DPH phone number above by using TTY services. Dial 7-1-1 or 800-232-5460 to type your conversation to a relay operator, who reads your conversation to a hearing person at DPH. The relay operator types the hearing person's spoken words back to the TTY user. To learn more about TTY availability in Delaware, visit www.delawarerelay.com.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.



Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.





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