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Heat Stress can affect population as temperatures soar to above 100 degrees

Posted: Saturday, June 10, 2023. 4:06 pm CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: Inland temperatures continue to soar to above 100 degrees and the National Meteorological Service of Belize issue heat alerts and advisories for residents inland to avoid outdoor activities.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness also urge residents to keep hydrated and seek shade during these hot days.

Epidemiologist, Dr. Marvin Manzanero noted that heat and particularly the current average temperatures represents an environmental and occupational hazard.

“Beyond the immediate effects higher temperatures have on us – dehyrdration, heat stroke risk – there are many factors that are influenced by our body’s response to heat. Added to this, is the mental stress that extreme heat brings about for the general population,” Dr. Manzanero said.

“Young and older populations have particular vulnerability to extremely hot temperatures as are particularly vulnerable those with chronic conditions such as diabetes, cancer and other levels of immunocompromise. Added to this, we have to be mindful that social and economic conditions of sectors of the population adds a further layer of vulnerability to heat,” he added.

In addition, Dr. Manzanero said that climate change will increase the frequency and intensity of heat waves and increasing health effects.

Dr. Manzanero stated that as earth gets warmer, specific measure to improve housing, management of chronic diseases, adequate institutional care of the elderly and the vulnerable, will need to be developed to reduce health impacts which are expected to only increase.


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