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July 19, 2018

Heat can be fatal

We are in the middle of the hottest period of the year. Heat waves are common in Myanmar during the months of March, April and May, in the daytime as well as at night.
Authorities have alerted the people these days to be aware of the health hazards posed by the heat that causes the body to lose water through sweating, along with changes in blood viscosity and salt levels.
Multiple studies have found that heat waves are happening more frequently, while cold spells have declined in urban areas in the last 40 years.
Extreme heat can cause heat-related illnesses, such as heat stroke and exhaustion, which can result in increased mortality rates. It can also exacerbate existing health conditions. Heat stress occurs when the body absorbs more heat than is tolerable.
In southern Asia, mortality is likely to rise with the thermometer. Researchers have established a direct link between global warming and heat-related deaths from killer heat waves.
A tiny rise of 0.5°C in mean summer temperatures in India or another comparable tropical developing nation could result in a 146 per cent rise in mass deaths from the heat.
Average temperature increases by the end of the century for the Asian sub-contintent, the Middle East and Africa are likely to be at least 2.2°C and could be as high as 5.5°C. Although the heat wave prediction for India is based on a statistical model, the model itself is based on half a century of carefully-measured temperature, heat wave and heat-related mortality data.
The message is that even moderate increases in mean temperature will have negative effects on human health. And for the poorest – and in India more than 300 million people live on an income of less than US$1.25 a day – the effects could be fatal. The impact of global climate change is not a spectra on the horizon. It’s real, and it’s being felt now all over the planet.
“It’s particularly alarming that the adverse effects are pummelting the world’s most vulnerable populations.”
It is estimated that between 15,000 and 19,000 people died during France’s heat wave of 2003, while the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said some 600 Americans died every year from exposure to extreme heat between 1999 and 2010.
New populations in the world will become heat-stressed while those already exposed to dangerous levels of heat will be subject to harmful conditions more often, scientists say.
With global warming, evil effects of disasters including increasing temperature are threatening the safety of our planet year by year.
Now, we are suffering the consequences of climate change, and the disasters it brings cannot be avoided. What we can do is educate ourselves on the effects of extreme heat, be aware of health hazards and take steps to keep our body temperature down by drinking water, seeking shade and avoiding strenuous physical exertion.


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