Health Ministry urges Jamaicans to reduce exposure to heat

by June 25th, 2019

As the country continues to see extremely high temperatures, the Ministry of Health and Wellness is urging Jamaicans to reduce their exposure to heat.

The Ministry is reminding the public that excessive heat stress is harmful to health and can be fatal.

Director of Emergency, Disaster Management and Special Services at the Ministry, Dr. Nicole Dawkins-Wright says precautionary measures must be taken to reduce exposure to heat and limit the effects it can have on the body. 

She notes that heat-related illnesses that could affect the population include heat exhaustion, heat rash, heat (muscle) cramps, and the most severe illness, heat stroke, which could be fatal.

Signs associated with a heat stroke include a very high body temperature, above 39 degrees celsius, hot and dry skin, a throbbing headache and dizziness.

Other signs may include altered mental state or behaviour, nausea, vomiting, flushed skin, rapid breathing, and a racing heart rate.

The Ministry is urging citizens to seek medical assistance immediately while finding ways to cool down the person if any of these signs is observed.

To prevent illness associated with the heat, members of the public are encouraged to take several precautions including drinking more fluids than normal if exposed to heat for long periods.