Multi-Week Heat Wave Claims At Least 75 Lives

July 10, 2012; 8:53 PM ET
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Domingo Vasquez, 36, drinks from a cooler while taking a break from mowing the lawn at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery during a hot day, Thursday, July 5, 2012, in East Orange, N.J. Vasquez, who is originally from the Dominican Republic, said he doesn't mind the heat because he grew up in it, but believes drinking water will make the weather tolerable. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

The intense heat that has baked much of the eastern two-thirds of the nation for the better part of two weeks has claimed dozens of lives.

At least 75 deaths have been attributed to the heat wave across more than a dozen states, according to various news outlets.

It is possible that this number could rise over the coming days as health officials and coroners continue to rule in causes of death among other cases.

As is unfortunately the case in many heat waves, the majority of the dead were senior citizens who succumbed to heart disease or other ailments made worse by hot indoor temperatures.

It has been speculated some of the deaths may have been prevented if homes were properly ventilated or air conditioned.

One heat-related death near Indianapolis in Greenfield, Ind., was particularly heart-wrenching.

A 4-month-old girl left alone in a parked car for two hours on Saturday died after sustaining third-degree burns as temperatures in the vehicle rose as high as 119 degrees.

Heat Wave Deaths

State
Deaths
Source
Illinois
18
WRC-TV
Maryland
13
WRC-TV
Virginia
10
WRC-TV
Pennsylvania
6
Carlisle Sentinel
Alabama
5
WITN-TV
Indiana
5
WSBT-TV
Missouri
5
WITN-TV
Ohio
3
Cincinnati.com
Wisconsin
3
WITN-TV
South Carolina
2
WSBT-TV
Tennessee
2
WSBT-TV
Kansas
1
The Republic, Columbus, Ind.
Kentucky
1
WITN-TV
Mississippi
1
The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Miss.

Tallies should be considered unofficial for now.

The Associated Press reports that the girl's teenage father pleaded not guilty to neglect charges in court on Monday.

Another young child, a toddler, was treated and released from an Indianapolis hospital after being left alone in a sweltering SUV where the temperature rose to 124 degrees.

Unfortunately, some members of the animal kingdom also fell victim to the oppressive heat.

A Centreville, Ill., police dog had to be euthanized over the weekend, likely after falling ill from the heat.

About 1,000 baby chicks succumbed to hot temperatures in a mailing facility in Louisville, Ky., according to postal officials. The chicks were due to be mailed via hole-punched boxes to recipients all across Kentucky.

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