Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Heat Waves and Health

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Heat Waves and Health

Article excerpt

Countries need to prepare for more intense and frequent heat waves as a result of climate change as these can pose serious health risks and have other consequences, according to a joint publication released last month by WHO and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

The publication entitled Heat waves and health: guidance on warning-system development contains detailed guidance on how countries can establish heat-health warning systems.

These systems provide meteorological and climate prediction-based information on the likelihood of the occurrence of hot weather, which can trigger heat rash, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heatstroke and death.

The information generated by these early warning systems can be used by decision-makers to take measures to reduce the possible negative effects on people's health and to alert the public to impending dangerous hot weather.

Hundreds of deaths in addition to those that would normally be expected were recorded during heat waves last month in India as well as in the Russian Federation in 2010 and France in 2003.

Heat waves can place additional burdens on health and emergency services, strain energy and water supplies and affect transport systems. …

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