Texas – In recent weeks, the North Texas area has been heavily hit by a heat wave that causes a lot of problems for everyone, but it’s especially dangerous for the homeless, pregnant women, and people who work outside for an extended period of time.
Heat stroke, heart attacks, or other heart failure are some of the health problems that might occur in anyone exposed to extreme temperatures. That’s why health experts and doctors advise people to spend as little time as possible during these heat waves that sometimes last for weeks in North Texas.
Triple-digit temperatures have been an ordinary thing in North Texas in recent weeks, including in Tarrant County. So far, this extreme weather has been fatal for at least ten Tarrant County residents. According to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office, all of the victims have died from hyperthermia since June, and the main cause has been elderly residents living without any air conditioners.
Hyperthermia is an abnormally high body temperature — or overheating. It’s the opposite of hypothermia, when your body is too cold. Hyperthermia occurs when your body absorbs or generates more heat than it can release. A human’s normal body temperature is about 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Any body temperature above 99 or 100 degrees Fahrenheit is too warm. Hyperthermia is usually the result of overexertion in hot, humid conditions. Most forms of hyperthermia are preventable.
The monitoring started on May 1, and the information provided by the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office on Friday shows data since that day. The first death, however, was reported in late June, while the most recent one was reported early this week.
The growing concern for the local health officials is the fact that the hot weather will continue in the upcoming period. The current forecast shows that temperatures will be 100 degrees or higher in the upcoming days. Cooler days are not in the forecast for Tarrant County and North Texas.
According to Friday’s data, six of the victims were men, while four of the victims were women. The youngest victim was 58, and the oldest was 88. However, the common thing for all victims is non-operational or turned off air conditioners.
Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed that two of the people were found dead outside, directly exposed to heat. Homelessness was not the case in these two cases. Two people were found dead indoors, but the air conditioners in these facilities were not operational. Five of the people who died of hyperthermia were living in facilities with no air conditioners.
One person was found dead in a White Settlement home with the air conditioner turned off, according to officials at the medical examiner’s office.
The risk remains high for everyone. Local residents are advised to avoid being exposed to direct sun and heat for an extended period of time. Health experts also advise frequent hydration, wearing hats, and avoiding sudden temperature changes.