Temperatures Exceed 100 Degrees; Beware Heat Stroke

Walter Fritz
Dr. Walter Fritz

With temperatures breaking the three-digit mark, former Starke County Health Officer Dr. Walter Fritz says residents need to be aware of the risk of heat stroke. Fritz says the longer the weather stays this hot, the more likely it is for someone to suffer from heat stroke.

“It looks like we’re in for a long haul with this, and the longer and the more severe the weather goes on like this, the more likely the possibility of heat stroke is to come up,” Fritz explained. “This is a medical condition that we all have to keep in the back of our minds and hopefully use good common sense to prevent.”

According to Fritz, the symptoms of heat stroke can vary from dizziness and tiredness to nausea and lack of appetite. He says you know it’s time to worry when symptoms involve only one side of the body, or a severe headache occurs. He says feeling weak to the point of passing out is also an indicator of severe heat stroke, and he urges anyone feeling these symptoms to call 911 and get to the hospital immediately.

Fritz says heat stroke is not an all-or-nothing, sudden-onset condition. The symptoms of heat stroke develop gradually, and the first step in protecting yourself is to prevent it. Fritz says the best way to prevent heat stroke is by following common sense.

“If you feel thirsty, you ought to be drinking liquids. If it’s too hot out, you shouldn’t be pushing yourself to be too physically overactive. It’s so important to get in either shade or a cooled area. Common sense, listen to what your body is telling you and follow its advice,” he said.