Is it getting hot in here? Rising temperatures and prolonged periods of heat can affect our health in many ways.
Hot Days and Heat Waves: The U.S. average temperature has increased 1.3 to 1.9 degrees Fahrenheit since 1895, and temperatures have risen more quickly since the late 1970s – seven of the 10 warmest years on record for the United States occurred since 1998. Over the past few decades, unusually hot summer days have become more common in the United States. The rate of occurrence of hot summer nights has increased even faster, and the frequency of heat waves – three days with temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit for most parts of the United States – doubled during the 20th century. Heat waves are the number one cause of weather-related deaths due to heat stroke and related conditions.
Heat waves have also increased the number of hospital admissions for cardiovascular, respiratory and kidney disorders. Young children, older adults, people with medical conditions and the poor are the most vulnerable to heat-related illness. Know how to protect your health health during extreme heat events.
Heat, Air Quality and Allergies: Health risks from heat waves and air pollution are not independent. Ground-level ozone pollution forms under hot and stagnant conditions. Breathing ground-level ozone reduces lung function, damages the inner lining of the lungs and increases hospital admissions for asthma, among other health impacts. People who spend time outdoors and are physically active – including children, outdoor workers and athletes – are most vulnerable. Warmer temperatures also increase wildfire risk, which intensifies air pollution. In addition to impacting the areas where fires are burning, wildfire particles can travel thousands of miles, affecting indoor and outdoor air quality. Lastly, higher temperatures have been associated with longer pollen allergy seasons in the United States. Ragweed pollen season has extended by as much as 27 days in northern parts of the North American heartland, resulting in a longer allergy season. Monitor the air quality where you live to protect your health.
Infectious Diseases: Warm temperatures can increase the number of cases of infectious diseases. Some bacteria that infect humans, such as Salmonella, grow faster in warmer environments. It has also been documented that higher temperatures have influenced the spread and distribution of West Nile virus in North America. Scientists found a correlation between above-average temperatures and the spread of West Nile virus into the western United States. In laboratory experiments, scientists recorded that higher temperatures increase the viral load in mosquitoes that transmit the disease and shorten a portion of the mosquitoes’ incubation time. Protect yourself from West Nile Virus.
Southern Vietnam and the Malay Peninsula are being put on alert for potential impacts from Tropical Storm Kai-tak later next week after it finishes lashing the Philippines.
Winds will again kick up and become strong, which will raise the risk of rapidly spreading wildfires in Northern and Southern California.
Keningston Palace has announced that Prince Harry will marry Meghan Markle on 19 May 2018 at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle.
Urduja, known globally as Kai-tak, will continue to unleash life-threatening flooding rain and mudslides as it slowly crosses the Philippines into Monday.
Snow created wintry scenes across the mid-Atlantic and northeastern U.S. this week while wildfires continue to rage in Southern California.
The holidays are one of the busiest times for travel and this year Americans are traveling in record numbers.
Use these tips to protect yourself against the health risks posed by air travel during the holidays.