Thursday, December 7, 2023

Heat wave claims 3 in Mexicali; avoid prolonged exposure: health official

Unrelenting high temperatures in Mexicali, Baja California, have been blamed for the deaths of three people in recent weeks, prompting a warning by authorities that people take extra care until the heat wave — with daily highs over 40 C — subsides.

State Health Services Director Néstor Saúl Hernández Milán said the first victim was an 85-year-old woman who suffered heat stroke as she collected aluminum cans from the side of the road.

The second victim was a 34-year-old who was exercising in the open air in Puertecitos and the third a 30-year-old woman was overcome by the heat while hiking near the Laguna Salada in the Sonoran Desert. She was admitted to the Mexicali General Hospital on July 14, but died 10 days later.

Hernández told a press conference that the woman’s actions were “irresponsible” and urged residents to avoid prolonged exposure to the heat and to stay hydrated.

“It is irresponsible to go on a hike alone without all of the necessary equipment . . . It is necessary to take precautions to avoid getting sick. The principal risk factor is the exposure time [to heat], and so it is important to remain hydrated and to protect oneself from 11:00am to 6:00pm using light-colored clothing and a hat. It is important not to consume alcoholic beverages or coffee.”

The health director also reminded residents that Mexicali has 123 hydration stations located at different points around the municipality.

Last year, high summer temperatures claimed a total of 13 lives.

Temperatures of 41 to 45 are forecast for Mexicali during the next seven days.

Source: Reforma (sp)

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