Health Officials Warn Against Heat Stroke Risk

BATON ROUGE -- Department of Health and Hospitals officials are cautioning residents in hurricane-impacted areas about the increased risk of succumbing to heat stroke in the aftermath of Hurricane Gustav.

"Many people are outdoors in the hot sun for extended hours clearing debris and tending to their homes," said Assistant Secretary for the DHH - Office of Public Health M. Rony Francois, MD, MSPH, Ph.D. "That, coupled with the widespread power outages and no air conditioning, is resulting in many folks overheating and suffering heat stroke."

Also called sunstroke, heat stroke is a very serious, life threatening condition. Below are some tips on how to recognize, treat, and prevent heat stroke.

How to recognize heat stroke:

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Body temperature reaches 105 degrees

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Not sweating much

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Skin turns hot and red

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Dizziness or nausea

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Rapid pulse

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Headache

How to react to heat stroke:

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Immediately get out of the sun

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Take off outer clothing

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Apply cool water or apply cold packs to the person's body to lower the temperature

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Provide small sips of water

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Always notify emergency services (911) immediately

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Do not take/give any drugs, alcohol or caffeine

To prevent heat stroke:

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Wear light, loose fitting clothes and a hat in the sun

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Drink plenty of water before spending time in the sun, even if you don't feel thirsty

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Take in a lot more salt than usual with meals, which will help retain water

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Take frequent breaks

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