Malta on health alert as heatwave temperatures soar

Health chiefs have issued an urgent health warning as the first heatwave of 2019 hits Malta and Gozo.

The alert was issued across as forecasters warned of sweltering conditions for the rest of the week.

With temperatures expected to soar to 38°C, people are being urged to take extra precautions when it comes to preventing heat-related illnesses.

A spokesman for the Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Directorate told 89.7 Bay: ‘High temperatures cause water to be lost from the body at quick rates resulting in dehydration.

‘It can also lead to heat exhaustion or heatstroke.

‘The heat can affect everyone, but some people run a greater risk of serious harm, including older people, babies, young children, and people with chronic conditions.’

The directorate has also advised people to regularly check in on older people ‘especially if they live alone and those more at risk.’

On Sunday, Malta experienced the hottest June day in 12 years with temperatures soaring to 37°C.

 Tips to avoid the effects of a heat wave

  • Keep out of the heat by avoiding any unnecessary exposure to the sun during hot periods of the day usually between 11am and 4pm.
  • Stay cool by staying in the coolest parts of the home and work
  • Close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler
  • Drink fresh, clear water regularly to make up for the losses and eat more cold food such as salads
  • Avoid dehydrating liquids. Alcohol, coffee, tea, and caffeinated soft drinks can make the situation worse.
  • Wear light, loose-fitting clothing.
  • never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals
  • avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day and opt for indoor physical activity
  • walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat if you have to go out in the heat
  • Seek medical advice if you have any concerns

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