The intense heat can bring about many direct and indirect harmful effects on the people.

With the mercury rising, the Health Department has suggested that people, especially children, the aged, infirm, pregnant women and persons with diabetes to adopt several measures to protect themselves from the adverse effects of heat.

Heat wave

The intense heat can bring about many direct and indirect harmful effects on the people. The direct impact can range from cramps, exhaustion, giddiness, electrolyte imbalance that can lead to dehydration and skin burns.

In extreme cases, people may even suffer from loss of consciousness, S. Somasundaram, Deputy Director of Health Services, told The Hindu here on Tuesday.

He has advised the residents of the city to consume fruits such as lemon, orange, water melon and cucumber that are rich in water content, and avoid hotel food. People must also take plenty of fresh fruit juices.

The intense heat wave sweeping the State can also have several indirect effects. The water shortage can lead to some vulnerable sections using unsafe or contaminated water, which can lead to the spread of water-borne diseases, he said.

The symptoms of heatstroke include a sudden increase in body temperature, a reddish tinge appearing on the skin, and a rapid increase in pulse rate accompanied by nausea or vomiting and sometimes, loss of consciousness.

Such patients must be immediately moved to a well-ventilated room and made to lie down with their feet in an elevated position. Their body must be wiped with a cloth dipped in cold water and the person must be administered intravenous fluids. Hospitalisation is a must if his/her condition did not improve.

The Deputy Director said: “People must drink at least three to five litres of water per day. Those in vulnerable sections must avoid travelling between 12 noon and 3 p.m. and they must always have a bottle of water by their side.”

He also urged the public to wear comfortable dresses, preferably made of cotton, and always work in a well-ventilated room and sleep for at least eight hours a day. He also urged people to refrain from tobacco and liquor besides non-vegetarian food.

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