New Delhi: A heatwave is a period of abnormally high temperatures, more than the normal maximum temperature that occurs during the summer season in the North-Western parts of India, according to National Disaster Management Authority. Heatwaves typically occur between March and June, and in some rare cases even extend till July. As of now, schools have been closed in Maharashtra, Odisha and West Bengal due to heat wave conditions. In northern states, the temperature is soaring but there is respite due to Western disturbances from time to time. Heat waves affect the Northern states of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, and Rajasthan generally in the month of May and June.
While talking to ANI, Senior Consultant Physician & Endocrinologist from Madhukar Rainbow Children’s Hospital Dr Sharwari Dabhade Dua, said,
A steady rise in temperature and environmental changes has led to very hot and humid summers since past few years. This rise is only getting worse with coming years. Our body has the ability to maintain the temperature via dissipation of heat, in the form of perspiration. However, extreme heat and humidity affect this acclimatisation leading to heat stroke.
Dr Dua further stated,
Certain pre-existing conditions like high blood pressure, heart failure, obesity, diabetes, and kidney disease can cause a higher risk of heat stroke. Children and old age people get affected more. In such cases, adequate hydration with electrolytes like sodium and proper air conditioning is advised to cool the body temperature. Minor symptoms need to be watched before they get severe. Immediate hospitalisation is advised in case of loss of consciousness, chest pain, decreased urination and severe fatigue,
Meanwhile, the Director of Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital (LNJP) Hospital, Dr Suresh Kumar said,
These days the temperature is reaching near 40 degrees and when the temperature crosses or is near 40 degrees. There is a lack of water in the body which is called dehydration. It is important that we take as much liquid as possible, like coconut water, juice, lassi, and more water etc. Whenever you are going out of the house these days, keep a water bottle with you, as well as keep your head covered while going in the sun. And try not to stay in the Sun for too long as it can lead to dehydration. Also, it can cause problems like heat stroke, and dizziness. Due to lack of water in the body, sweating stops and there is a deficiency of sodium, potassium etc. in the body, which affects our brain and heart.
To minimise the impact during the heatwave and to prevent serious ailment or death because of heat stroke, you can take the following measures:
- Avoid going out in the sun, especially between 12.00 noon and 3.00 p.m.
- Drink sufficient water as often as possible, even if not thirsty
- Wear lightweight, light-coloured, loose, and porous cotton clothes. Use protective goggles, an umbrella/hat, shoes or chappals while going out in sun.
- Avoid strenuous activities when the outside temperature is high. Avoid working outside between 12 noon and 3 p.m.
- While travelling, carry water with you.
- Avoid alcohol, tea, coffee and carbonated soft drinks, which dehydrate the body.
- Avoid high-protein food and do not eat stale food.
- If you work outside, use a hat or an umbrella and also use a damp cloth on your head, neck, face and limbs.
- Do not leave children or pets in parked vehicles.
- If you feel faint or ill, see a doctor immediately.
- Use ORS, homemade drinks like lassi, torani (rice water), lemon water, buttermilk, etc. which help to rehydrate the body.
- Keep animals in shade and give them plenty of water to drink.
- Keep your home cool, use curtains, shutters or sunshades and open windows at night.
- Use fans, damp clothing and take bath in cold water frequently.
The extreme temperatures and resultant atmospheric conditions adversely affect people living in these regions as they cause physiological stress, sometimes resulting in death, according to National Disaster Management Authority.
The health impacts of heatwaves typically involve dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and/or heat stroke. The signs and symptoms are as follows:
Heat Cramps: Ederna (swelling) and Syncope (Fainting) are generally accompanied by fever below 39 degrees Celcius.
Heat Exhaustion: Fatigue, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps and sweating.
Heat Stoke: Body temperatures of 40 degrees Celcius or more along with delirium, seizures or coma. This is a potentially fatal condition.
Heatwave conditions can result in physiological strain, which could even be fatal.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
NDTV – Dettol have been working towards a clean and healthy India since 2014 via the Banega Swachh India initiative, which is helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. The campaign aims to highlight the inter-dependency of humans and the environment, and of humans on one another with the focus on One Health, One Planet, One Future – Leaving No One Behind. It stresses on the need to take care of, and consider, everyone’s health in India – especially vulnerable communities – the LGBTQ population, indigenous people, India’s different tribes, ethnic and linguistic minorities, people with disabilities, migrants, geographically remote populations, gender and sexual minorities. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign will continue to raise awareness on the same along with focussing on the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children, fight malnutrition, mental wellbeing, self care, science and health, adolescent health & gender awareness. Along with the health of people, the campaign has realised the need to also take care of the health of the eco-system. Our environment is fragile due to human activity, which is not only over-exploiting available resources, but also generating immense pollution as a result of using and extracting those resources. The imbalance has also led to immense biodiversity loss that has caused one of the biggest threats to human survival – climate change. It has now been described as a “code red for humanity.” The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene. Banega Swasth India will also be taking forward the dream of Swasth Bharat, the campaign feels that only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and the country can become a Swasth or healthy India.