Information and public health advice: heat and health

Protecting health from rising temperatures and extreme heat


Key facts

  • Population exposure to heat is increasing due to climate change, and this trend will continue. Globally, extreme temperature events are observed to be increasing in their frequency, duration, and magnitude. Between 2000 and 2016, the number of people exposed to heat waves increased by around 125 million. In 2015 alone, 175 million additional people were exposed to heat waves compared to average years.

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Brace yourself for more record heat


Current high temperatures in the northern hemisphere are set to continue. Climate change means we’re likely to experience very hot summers more often — even though we’re already struggling with health consequences now.

Bildergalerie : Sommer / Abkühlung (picture-alliance/dpa)

Europe is in the throes of a heat wave, and it’s not letting up — on the contrary. More hot air is coming over from Africa, and is even bringing desert dust with it.

Southwestern European countries are being hit especially hard. Authorities in Portugal issued a nationwide health warning, including for dust from the Sahara. Warnings were also issued for 40 of Spain’s 50 provinces. The southeastern Portuguese town of Beja is expected to see a peak of 47 degrees Celsius (117 degrees Fahrenheit) on Saturday.
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Heat wave safety tips – An toàn trong bão nhiệt

National weather services

Stay Informed: Monitor local radio and television (including NOAA Weather Radio), internet and social media for information and updates.

How to response to excessive heat events
  •  Slow down: reduce, eliminate or reschedule strenuous activities until the coolest time of the day. Children, seniors and anyone with health problems should stay in the coolest available place, not necessarily indoors.
    • Dress for summer. Wear lightweight, loose fitting, light-colored clothing to reflect heat and sunlight.
    • Eat light, cool, easy-to-digest foods such as fruit or salads. If you pack food, put it in a cooler or carry an ice pack. Don’t leave it sitting in the sun. Meats and dairy products can spoil quickly in hot weather.
    • Drink plenty of water (not very cold), non-alcoholic and decaffeinated fluids, even if you don’t feel thirsty. If you on a fluid restrictive diet or have a problem with fluid retention, consult a physician before increasing consumption of fluids.
    • Use air conditioners or spend time in air-conditioned locations such as malls and libraries.
    • Use portable electric fans to exhaust hot air from rooms or draw in cooler air.
    • Do not direct the flow of portable electric fans toward yourself when room temperature is hotter than 90°F. The dry blowing air will dehydrate you faster, endangering your health.
    • Minimize direct exposure to the sun. Sunburn reduces your body’s ability to dissipate heat.

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