Five cases of heat-related illness reported thus far, says Health DG


KUALA LUMPUR: The Health Ministry has detected five cases of heat-related illness thus far, said Health director-general Datuk Dr Muhammad Radzi Abu Hassan.

He said of the total, two cases were reported in Kelantan that have led to the deaths of two children due to severe dehydration and heatstroke.

Three other cases are in Sarawak involving two cases of heat cramps and one case of heat exhaustion.

He added that preliminary investigations carried out by the Kelantan Health Department confirmed that an 11-year-old boy had died of heatstroke and severe dehydration.

Meanwhile, the death of a 19-month-old toddler on the same day was not due to heatstroke but severe dehydration with underlying sepsis, he said in a statement on Friday (April 28).

Dr Muhammad Radzi warned that prolonged exposure to hot weather without drinking sufficient water could be detrimental to one’s health, especially high-risk groups like children, senior citizens, and those with chronic diseases.

He added that the symptoms of illness related to severe hot weather, include headaches, fatigue, lack of concentration, dizziness, muscle weakness or cramps, and nausea.

"Severe cases can involve dehydration, delirium, and falling unconscious or coma," he said.

Hence, the public, especially those who are celebrating Aidilfitri or holidaying during this hot weather, are advised to take preventive measures, such as avoiding house visits between 11am and 4pm as that was when the heat was at its highest.

"Drink at least eight glasses of water a day and avoid sugary, caffeinated and carbonated drinks as they are bad for hydration.

"High-risk groups such as infants, children, and the elderly must drink enough water to avoid dehydration, and they must watch out for fatigue symptoms in these groups because they can experience dehydration without realising it," he said.

Latest information on hot weather status can be obtained at MetMalaysia website at https://www.met.gov.my/iklim/status-cuacapanas/, and preventive measures to reduce health effects can be obtained at the Health Ministry’s website at http: //www.myhealth.gov.my/cuaca-panas-a-kesihatan. - Bernama

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