Friday, June 14, 2024

Over 60 heat-related deaths in Mexico so far this year, Health Ministry reports

As many parts of Mexico continued to swelter, the federal Health Ministry reported a sobering statistic this week: 61 people have died of heat-related illnesses so far this year, including more than 50 deaths in May.

In a report published on Wednesday, the Health Ministry said there were an additional 13 heat-related deaths between May 22 and May 28.

The total number of heat-related deaths in May thus rose to 56. The other five occurred in April.

Most of the 61 deaths were caused by heat stroke, according to the Health Ministry, while a few were attributed to dehydration.

Mexico is currently going through its third heat wave of the year, while the second also occurred in May.

On Friday, the National Meteorological Service (SMN) forecast temperatures over 45 C for parts of Campeche, Chiapas, Guerrero, Michoacán, Morelos, Nuevo León, Oaxaca, San Luis Potosí, Sinaloa, Tabasco, Tamaulipas, Veracruz and Zacatecas.

A street vendor wearing a hat and shade cloth over his neck offers a bottle of water.
The SMN predicts temperatures over 45 C for nearly half of Mexican states in coming days. (Gabriela Pérez Montiel/Cuartoscuro)

Heat-related deaths up over 1,000% compared to the same time last year

By late May last year, the Health Ministry had only registered five heat-related deaths across Mexico, meaning that this year’s death toll is currently up 1,120% in annual terms.

However, 2023 was by no means a mild year. There were three heat waves in Mexico last year, according to the SMN, the longest and deadliest of which occurred last June.

Mexico’s heat-related death toll soared to 421 by the end of the official “hot” season in October 2023. That figure was 10 times the number of heat-related deaths in 2022.

Which states have recorded the most heat fatalities this year?

The Health Ministry said that Veracruz has recorded the highest number of fatalities this year with 16.

Tabasco ranks second with 11, followed by San Luis Potosí (9), Tamaulipas (9), Oaxaca (4), Nuevo León (4) and Hidalgo (4).

Chiapas, Campeche, Guanajuato and Sonora have recorded one heat-related death each.

The Health Ministry also reported 1,346 recorded cases of heat-related illnesses so far this year. Just over 65% of those cases — 881 — were heat stroke, 32% of the total were dehydration and 2.5% were sunburn.

The case-fatality rate for heat-related illnesses in Mexico so far this year is 4.52%, the Health Ministry said.

With reports from El Economista 

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