Saturday, July 20, 2024

Heat-related death toll climbs to 155, more than doubling in 3 weeks

The number of heat-related deaths in Mexico this year has more than doubled in just three weeks.

The federal Health Ministry reported Thursday that 155 heat-related deaths had been recorded to June 18, an increase of 154% compared to the 61 fatalities registered to May 28.

In the most recent “epidemiological week,” an additional 30 people succumbed to heat-related illnesses, the Health Ministry reported.

Around nine in every 10 heat-related deaths since the commencement of this year’s “hot season” on March 17 were attributed to heat stroke. All told 138 people have succumbed to that illness in the past three months.

The other 17 heat-related fatalities were attributed to dehydration.

A total of 2,567 cases of heat-related illnesses have been reported this year, resulting in a case-fatality rate of 6%.

The National Meteorological Service (SMN) forecast there will be five heat waves in Mexico this year. (CONAGUA)

Mexico has had three heat waves so far this year. The first lasted nine days between April 13 and 21, while the second lasted 10 days between May 3 and 13.

The most recent heat wave lasted 16 days between May 20 and June 4.

Almost half of all heat-related deaths occurred in just 2 states 

Veracruz has recorded 56 heat-related fatalities this year, while 18 occurred in the neighboring state of Tabasco. The combined 74 deaths in those two states account for 48% of all heat-related fatalities in Mexico so far this year.

The only other states with double-digit heat-related death tolls this year are Tamaulipas (17); Nuevo León (12); and San Luis Potosí (11).

Fifteen other states including Oaxaca (9), Yucatán (8) and Hidalgo (6) have recorded at least one-heat related death this year.

Mexico recorded 421 heat related deaths last year, a figure 10 times higher than the previous year.

Dengue deaths also on the rise 

In a separate report also published on Thursday, the Health Ministry said that dengue had caused 26 deaths in Mexico to June 18.

Public health anti-dengue campaign
Public health authorities have stepped up their campaigns to reduce mosquito populations across the country. (Damián Sanchez/Cuartoscuro)

That number hasn’t risen in the past two weeks, but is more than five times higher than that recorded in the first 24 weeks of last year.

Mexico has recorded a total of 17,106 confirmed dengue cases this year, an increase of 388% compared to the same time last year.

Guerrero ranks first for both cases of dengue and deaths caused by the mosquito-borne tropical disease. The southern state has recorded 3,483 confirmed cases of dengue and 8 deaths.

Five other states have recorded at least 1,000 dengue cases this year: Tabasco, Veracruz, Michoacán, Chiapas and Colima.

Morelos ranks second for deaths with five, followed by Quintana Roo with four and Tabasco with three.

With reports from France 24 and EFE

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