Heatwave set to continue into next week

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The heatwave is set to continue into next week with temperatures in the high 20Cs at the weekend before rising to 30C (86F) and beyond next week – bringing with it an increased risk of thunderstorms.

Public Health England (PHE) officials have advised people to stay cool, drink lots of cold fluids and keep an eye on those they know to be at risk.

Professor Virginia Murray, head of extreme events at PHE, said: “The most important advice is to stay cool yourself, drink plenty of cool drinks – but look out for others, take care of the most vulnerable, take care of those who are very young, the elderly, those with chronic illnesses who may be particularly vulnerable to the heat and really to protect those as far as we can and to make sure we reduce the health impacts on them and the possible worrying level of increased deaths.”

Hot weather poses a real danger to health

The very elderly and the seriously ill are most at risk but people at the peak of physical fitness can still succumb, particularly if they are under extreme physical exertion.

The main threat is dehydration – as we overheat we can soon lose more fluid than we take in.

The body can no longer cool itself and our core temperature, which should be a stable 37C, rises.

At 40C the cells inside the body begin to break down and the body starts to malfunction.

It even stops being able to sweat, leading to more overheating.

The heart rate and breathing rate speed up and the person may fit, hallucinate or become unconscious.

Heatstroke is a medical emergency.

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