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Health unit suggests precautions as weather warms

The initial signs of heat exhaustion include feeling hot, extreme thirst, discomfort, lethargy, and loss of appetite.
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TBDHU heat advisory
An information chart at the Thunder Bay District Health Unit outlining the precautions to take according to UV levels. (Michael Charlebois, tbnewswwatch)

THUNDER BAY - With a stretch of warm, sunny weather underway, the Thunder Bay District Health Unit is urging people to take precautions to protect their health.

Lyne Soramaki, a public health nurse with health unit, is urging the public to protect themselves against heat stroke.

“If you’re spending a lot of time outdoors, or working outdoors, make sure you drink a lot of fluids, avoid alcohol, and seek shade, and avoid the peak time of 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.,” she said.

With a typical UV index of around 7 for this time of year - which the health unit considers high - the general public is at risk for heat stroke, with infants and young children, people 65 years and older, people with chronic lung conditions, and those on certain medications being the most vulnerable to heat-related illness.

“A UV index is an important tool to act on sun safety tips. Most often in the summer, you have to wear a hat, and cover yourself when the UV index gets around 7 or 8,” Soramaki said.

Even on cloudy days, UV rays can also be harmful.

“I think it’s important to note that with clouds and the forest fire smoke we’re experiencing now, it can really be deceiving," she added.

A daily UV index radar is available at the health unit’s website.




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