Maricopa County Confirms First Heat Death Of 2016
Record-breaking temperatures are possibly in store this weekend for the Phoenix area and the Maricopa County Department of Public Health is encouraging people to take precautions. However, the heat has already claimed its first victim of the year.
An older adult female, otherwise healthy, was found dead in her backyard, the county health department said Tuesday.
The county reports 40 percent of all heat related deaths occur indoors, often from air conditioners functioning poorly or shut off. Last year there were 84 heat-related deaths in Maricopa County.
According to the CDC, more people die from heat illness than all other natural disasters combined. Exposure to high temperatures, sun — or both — combined with an inability to cool may lead to muscle cramps, headaches, vomiting, confusion, rapid heart rate and lack of sweat.
County officials stress proper hydration before feeling thirsty and getting out of the sun, preferably into air-conditioned spaces, can help avoid heat-related symptoms.