July 13, 2018 5:27 pm

How Winnipeggers can deal with the extreme heat

Things are heating up in Manitoba. A heat warning has been issued for the province and health officials are urging people to take precautions if they're going to be out during the extreme heat. Global's Joe Scarpelli reports.

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Environment Canada has issued a heat warning for most of Manitoba, as the forecast is expected to soar.

With humidity, temperatures could jump to more than 40 degrees Saturday.

Health officials across the province are encouraging people to be prepared for the elements.

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The hot, hot heat can lead to a number of heat-related illnesses. From less severe ones like swelling, muscle cramps and heat rash, all the way to more severe illnesses such as fainting, heat exhaustion or even heatstroke.

READ MORE: ‘A litre for each hour’: Tips for surviving Manitoba summer heat

According to Manitoba Health, the rates of heat-related illnesses rise the longer an extreme heat event lasts, especially when there is no cool down period at night to provide relief.

There are ways to avoid most heat-related illnesses. Experts recommend drinking plenty of fluids, planning outdoor activities for cooler parts of the day, finding shady areas when you’re outside or taking a cool bath or shower.

Shabana Jamal, a family physician with Norwood Walk-In & Family Medical Centre, said everyone is at risk when temperatures reach scorching levels.

“If somebody is elderly it can affect them a lot, somebody frail and somebody who is sick, [someone who] already has health related issues: those are the people we are more worried than the young healthy person,” Jamal explained.

Jamal added that on extremely hot days, she tends to see a 10 per cent increase in patients demonstrating symptoms consistent with heat-related illnesses.

She said in some cases people will come in thinking they’re sick when really they’re experiencing dehydration symptoms.

READ MORE: City opening up cool-down stops as Winnipeg heats up

Watch Ambassadors with Downtown Winnipeg Biz are combing the streets, looking for people who may in distress because of the blistering heat.  The ambassadors are out seven days a week from 7 a.m. to midnight.

Duty Supervisor Michelle Kindrat said that on extremely hot days, they can encounter as many as 40 cases of dehydration and easily hand out more than 200 cups of water.

“They’re sweating lots, they’re thirsty, they look like they’re in distress,” Kindrat said.

“A lot of people pass out, or you can tell there’s signs of heat exhaustion, so we have a RTV and we have water that we hand out, as well as freezies. We hand them out to anyone that’s in need.”

READ MORE: Tips to keep your pooch cool during hot, hot, heat

The extreme heat is expected to end Saturday night when a cold front should pass through Southern Manitoba, bringing more tolerable temperatures in the mid twenties for Sunday.

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