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Heat caused record-high rates of health emergencies in some parts of the US last year, CDC report shows

·1 min

Last summer saw record-breaking temperatures in the United States, leading to a surge in heat-related health emergencies. The majority of these emergencies occurred between May and September, with July and August being the peak months. Heat-related illnesses accounted for a larger share of emergency department visits compared to the previous five seasons. Data from hundreds of emergency departments showed that the rate of heat-related emergencies was significantly higher last year compared to previous years. All regions in the U.S. experienced extreme heat days, with some southern regions enduring prolonged periods of extreme heat. Public health experts emphasize the need for real-time monitoring of weather conditions and timely communication of risks associated with extreme heat. Efforts are being made to track rates of emergency response to heat-related illnesses. The prevalence of heat-related illnesses may be underestimated due to limited data capturing cases from other healthcare providers and the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare utilization patterns. It is important to understand regional trends in order to implement effective heat mitigation strategies. Vulnerable groups, such as children, individuals with underlying health conditions, pregnant women, and outdoor workers, are particularly susceptible to the health risks of heatwaves. President Joe Biden has called for increased protection for workers from extreme heat.