As the temperature increases outdoors so does the risk of heat stroke. This can be dangerous and lead to severe health risks if precautions are not taken. Heat stroke is the end stage of heat illness. It can be hard to identify and life threatening if left untreated.
Doctors explain that the magic number temperature for heat stroke is 40 degrees Celsius, which is 104 degrees Fahrenheit. "As the body passes 104, we begin to have a lot of trouble with mentation, you know thinking, walking sometimes can become a problem. There are other kind of mental status changes that can occur. It becomes very dangerous because if somebody is alone and goes into heat stroke, they may have no way of getting out of it so it can be life threatening," said Dr. Aaron Monseau from the WVU School of Medicine.
There are about 400 deaths per year due to heat illness. People who cannot recognize the signs are in the most danger. "The number one category is the elderly. We classify that as folks over the age of 75," said Dr. Monseau. He went on to explain that the very young, children under the age of four, are also at risk because they may be in a situation where they can't get themselves out of.
If you think you are experiencing heat stroke make sure to hydrate and get yourself to a cool environment. "Those would be something called evaporative cooling, where you spray some tepid or cool water on the person and then blow a fan at them. The other one, which typically requires some help, is a cold bathtub," according to Dr. Monseau.
Heat stoke can occur quickly and in weather that is not considered extremely hot. Doctors at WVU recommend taking frequent breaks from hot environments.