Stay hydrated as weather gets hotter, say experts

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): People should stay hydrated and be aware of the symptoms of heat-related illnesses as the weather gets hotter, say medical experts like Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia's Dr Mohd Dzulkhairi Mohd Rani.

The Medical Associate Professor and Public Health Physician with the university's Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences also advised the public to avoid exercising during peak heat weather conditions to prevent elevating one’s core body temperature and risking additional strain.

"Staying hydrated during exercise is also important to avoid raising the body temperature as well,” he told Bernama in an interview.

Malaysia is experiencing the Southwest monsoon, which results in a hot and dry climate, from now until mid-September, according to the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia).

Dr Dzulkhairi added that constant showering is also advisable as it cools the body and will reduce the body's temperature.

Apart from that, he cautioned that heat exhaustion may occur as a result of dehydration, with non-specific symptoms such as malaise, vomiting and circulatory collapse. It occurs when the core body temperature is between 37ºC and 40ºC.

"Left untreated, heat exhaustion may evolve into heatstroke, a more severe illness in which the body’s thermoregulation mechanism fails,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Monash University Malaysia senior lecturer Dr Vinod RMT Balasubramaniam said that there are no links between hot weather and increased side effects experienced by those undergoing their Covid-19 vaccination

However, he advised recently-vaccinated individuals to avoid strenuous activity and to drink plenty of fluids.

Dr Vinod also said that young children need to be watched carefully during hot weather.

"Children sweat less, thus reducing their ability to cool down, and they generate more heat during exercise compared to adults. They are at higher risk of overheating and developing a heat-related illness. Heat can also make existing illnesses worse,” he said.

Dr Vinod also cautioned that employees exposed to hot and humid conditions outdoors are at risk of heat-related illnesses, especially those doing heavy work tasks or using bulky or non-breathable protective clothing and equipment. - Bernama

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