Children frolic in the cool waters of the Dapitan Complex public pool in Sampaloc, Manila. State weather forecasters recorded the hottest day in Metro Manila this year at 34.5°C last Saturday and warned residents to brace for even hotter weather this summer. (Photo by Edd Gumban)
MANILA — The Department of Health (DOH) warned the public of a possible increase in cases of heat stroke and other summer diseases.
Lyndon Lee Suy, DOH program manager for emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, said the summer season could be fun but it could also cause many health problems.
Lee Suy said among the most common diseases associated with the summer season is heat stroke.
“Heat stroke is a medical emergency; a patient must be immediately brought to the hospital after instituting emergency measures,” said Lee Suy.
Lee Suy said heat stroke occurs when the body overheats due to hot and humid weather or as a result of too much direct exposure to the sun, and sweating cannot cool down the body.
The symptoms of heat stroke include warm feeling, flushed skin, faintness, dizziness, weakness and headache and it might lead to very high fever of 41°C, rapid heartbeat, convulsion, delirium and unconsciousness if left untreated.
He urged the public to limit the amount of time spent outdoors and to drink plenty of water to avoid such a serious health condition.
He said people should also avoid coffee, soda or alcohol and they should wear a wide-brimmed hat and long-sleeved clothing when outdoors.
As first aid treatment, Lee Suy said a person suffering from heat stroke should move to a shaded area or indoors and lie down with their legs elevated, remove their clothes, and apply ice packs to the armpits, wrists, ankles and groin.
Aside from heat stroke, Lee Suy also warned the public against having prickly heat or rashes borne out of hot and humid weather and the clogging of sweat glands.
Lee Suy said prickly heat could be prevented by taking a bath daily, limit exposure to the sun, and wear light, loose clothing.
People might also apply cornstarch or baking soda powder, as well as always cleansing the skin gently.
“If there is excessive itching or if the rash is infected, consult a physician,” said Lee Suy.