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Heat stroke risk increases as Kingston faces second day of sweltering conditions

Click to play video: 'Heat stroke risk increases as Kingston, Ont. faces second day under heat warning'
Heat stroke risk increases as Kingston, Ont. faces second day under heat warning
WATCH: Amid an ongoing heat wave, KFL&A Public Health says with every passing day, the risk of developing heat related illnesses increases – Jul 5, 2023

For the second day in a row, temperatures pushed toward 40 C in the Kingston, Ont., region Wednesday.

Public health has warned that the heat wave could last until Friday and that with every passing day, the risk of developing heat-related illnesses increases.

Associate medical officer of health for Kingston Dr. Hugh Guan says heat-related illness is a spectrum beginning with heat rashes and swelling, followed by heat exhaustion and finally heat stroke which can result in feeling confused or passing out.

“Generally heat causes a lot of what we call edema, or swelling and at some of the milder syndrome, is called heat edema whereby people may get a little bit of swelling in their legs or their feet. However, that can occur in other parts of the body which includes places like the brain, so therefore, for more serious, high temperatures, it can cause heat stroke which as per its name mimics a stroke,” Guan told Global News.

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Click to play video: 'Staying healthy during extreme heat: Healthy Living'
Staying healthy during extreme heat: Healthy Living

According to the Ontario Ministry of Health, symptoms of heat stroke include high body temperature, a fast pulse, headache or dizziness and loss of consciousness. At that point, Guan says it’s a medical emergency and people should be taken to hospital.

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Environment Canada renewed its heat warning Wednesday stating that it expected the heat wave to last through Friday.

That could result in an uptick in patients with heat-related illnesses seeking treatment at urgent care and emergency rooms across the city.

“The risk increases with just the amount of time in high heat,” Guan said, adding it’s important to drink plenty of water, take breaks from the heat and check in on vulnerable family and friends until cooler weather arrives.

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