Maricopa County Confirms First Heat Death Of 2016

By Andrew Bernier
Published: Tuesday, June 14, 2016 - 5:29pm
Updated: Wednesday, June 15, 2016 - 11:31am
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(Photo courtesy of National Weather Service)
National Weather Service is predicting extreme heat in Arizona in the next week.

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.

RELATED: What Is Phoenix's Normal High Temperature In June?

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.

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