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Searing Heatwave Claims 61 Lives in Thailand

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Searing Heatwave Claims 61 Lives in Thailand
Heat stroke has claimed the lives of 61 people so far this year, compared with 37 in 2023: File Image

As a searing heatwave has seized Thailand, with temperatures rising beyond 40°C (104°F) in numerous regions, the Department of Disease Control reported that 61 people have died from heatstroke.

Major cities such as Bangkok experience extreme heat, straining electricity infrastructures and prompting health warnings. The lethal heatwave has set temperature records rising, while a lengthy period of little rainfall has left water reservoirs depleted.

According to Dr. Apichart Vachiraphan, deputy director-general of the Department of Disease Control (DDC), the majority of heatstroke deaths (33) occurred in northeastern Thailand, with 13 in the middle and western regions and 10 in Northern Thailand.

Many of the heat stroke victims had pre-existing medical issues, drank heavily, and worked outside. The official count for heat-related deaths from 2018 until May 7 this year was 200, he stated.

Despite the arrival of rain, heat stroke, which can cause organ failure and even death, remains a risk in various hot-weather areas of the country, according to Dr. Apichart.

Heat stroke symptoms include skin redness without sweating, fast pulse, headache, dizziness, confusion, and unconsciousness.

People suspected of having heat stroke should have their bodies cooled as rapidly as possible before seeking medical attention.

People should avoid outdoor activities between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., stay hydrated, avoid caffeine drinks, alcoholic beverages, or high-sugar drinks, and dress loosely. Those working outside should take frequent rests in the shade.

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