BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — At least 16 people from Louisiana have died due to heat-related causes in June and July, according to the Louisiana Department of Health.
“There were 16 death certificates that were reported to the Louisiana Department of Health about people that somehow have died from heat exposure or heat illness. It’s possible that there’s going to be additional heat-related fatalities that get reported in the coming months,” said LDH Climate and Preventive Medicine Physician Alicia Van Doren.
On Wednesday, Aug. 9 temperatures climbed up to 102 degrees and are expected to stay at or above 100 degrees until the 19th, according to KTAL meteorologist Todd Warren.
LDH said that as of Saturday, July 29, there have been 3,305 visits to the emergency room due to heat-related issues. This is above the average of 2,700 heat-related emergency room visits in a typical year, according to the LDH. More about heat-related illness in the state between 2010 and 2020 can be found here.
LDH also provided a breakdown of emergency room visits due to heat-related issues from Saturday, April 1 through Saturday, Aug. 5 here.
While being outside, Baton Rouge General Dr. Rachel Kermis recommends staying alert to symptoms that may signal dangers due to the heat.
“You can start vomiting. You can get kind of confused. Sometimes people will even pass out and faint. All of that is because those organ systems are shutting down because they’re at too out of a level to function,” she said.
For those experiencing weakness during the heat and feeling like they’re going through symptoms, she suggests a few tips like wet towels around parts like your armpits and neck, going into the shade, and calling 911 if the individual is not able to follow commands.