WHO: Unprepared heat can be deadly

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The European office of the World Health Organization (WHO) is urging people not to be caught unprepared by the high temperatures in light of the heat wave in large parts of the continent. Heat can be deadly without proper preparation, said Hans Kluge, director of the WHO European Region. On the one hand, he said, people must protect themselves and their fellow human beings immediately now, but on the other hand, they must take the proper precautions for the future long ago.

Regional and global measures
“Beyond adapting to our new reality this summer, we need to look to the years and decades ahead,” the regional director stressed. He said there is an urgent need for both regional and global action to effectively combat the climate crisis, which poses an existential threat to humanity.

He said it was also crucial to involve younger people, who were mainly concerned with climate issues and often bubbling over with ideas and solutions. In addition, he said, all sides of the political spectrum need to view the fight against climate change as a bipartisan issue.

Referring directly to this summer, Kluge advised several measures to stay as calm as possible and thus avoid the worst health consequences of the heat. He said people should stay out of the heat by avoiding going outside and engaging in strenuous activities during the hottest part of the day.

People should keep their homes cool by, for example, keeping blinds down during the day and using the night air to cool them down. It is also essential to keep the body cool and hydrated – this can be achieved with light, loose clothing, cold showers and regular water drinking, among other things.

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