Record-breaking temps cause hundreds of heat-related illnesses

Posted July 28, 2010

— Data released Wednesday by the Department of Health and Human Services serves as a reminder of the dangers associated with extremely hot weather.

More than 690 people across the state sought medical treatment for a heat-related illness from July 11-25.

The average high temperature for July is 89 degrees, but during the period between July 1 and 15, six days saw temperatures in the Triangle topping 100 degrees, WRAL Chief Meteorologist Greg Fishel said.

The heat index, which indicates how hot it actually feels, soared even higher.

The heat index is driven by high humidity, which can also cause heat-related health problems. High humidity keeps perspiration from evaporating, preventing the body from cooling down. That leads to heat-related illnesses.

People suffering from heat exhaustion will often experience disorientation, muscle cramps, excessive sweating, fainting, nausea or vomiting.

Warning signs of a heat stroke, which can be fatal, include headache, dizziness, nausea, lack of sweat, rapid heart-rate, kidney failure and other organs shutting down.

To help prevent a heat-related illness, doctors suggest people start hydrating as early as possible before going out in the heat.

People should also avoid being outside during the mid to late afternoon, when temperatures are typically the highest, Fishel said.

The high temperature Thursday will be in the mid 90s, WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze said.

The weekend will be a bit cooler with highs in the low 90s.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • letourkidspay4it Jul 29, 2010

    the worst thing about comments is the amount of BAD information:

    1) raysson: Flagstaff AZ is a mountain town. It has never hit 100 there. And humidity here in NC has been very much like East TX humidity this summer (dew points > 70), and considerably higher than west TX humidity -as is usually the case

    2) lizard78: It has NOT always been this hot in the summer. Perhaps for a few days, but not this consistently hot. If every year were this hot, then our AVERAGES would be more like 94 rather than the typical 88 for June-July. Only 1954 and 2007 are in the company as this summer! Unless August is cooler than normal, this will be one of the hottest ever.

    Now my turn to share some outright bad information..."There is NOT an overwhelming agreement by climate scientists that the earth is warming" ;)

  • lizard78 Jul 29, 2010

    I grew up here. It has always been this hot in the Summer. There is no climate change. It's July in the south.

  • Bill Brasky Jul 29, 2010

    "NJtarheel, who in their right mind would move back to NJ? That state is a dump."

    But they got the shore...."THE SHOUUUUR" (said like a Yankee)

  • awr117 Jul 29, 2010

    meh, it isn't that bad.

    NJtarheel, who in their right mind would move back to NJ? That state is a dump.

  • Peace Love and Cold Meds Jul 29, 2010

    I don't care what wral says, this is THE hottest summer EVER! The misery index is at 1000% and we couldn't have more lousy weather. Only 3 more months of it and then maybe 2 weeks of cool weather before January arrives and we're hitting record highs again. Oh, and drought!

  • THE ETERNAL Jul 28, 2010

    Where are all the climate change deniers?

  • raysson Jul 28, 2010

    if you got medical problems,don't go outside if you feel symptoms. the best place to go if the heat is too much for you would be in a place somewhere cool like a public library or at a local mall,or someplace where the AC is running at full capacity.

  • raysson Jul 28, 2010

    If you think its hot here in North Carolina,try testing that theory on the humidity in parts of Texas and Arizona where temperatures have reached beyond 100 degrees within three months. The hottest temperature was in Flagstaff Arizona,where the high was.....get this....122 degrees!

  • noreplytome2 Jul 28, 2010

    I'll help pack, lol.

  • pinball wizard Jul 28, 2010

    It is hot, people have medical problems. I did not realize that.

    Wonder what happens when it gets cold.