MADINAH: The extreme hot weather with average daily temperatures exceeding 40°C in Saudi Arabia puts Malaysian Haj pilgrims at risk of suffering heatstroke, says Dr Asraf Ahmad Qamruddin.
The public health expert said the hot and dry weather can lead to an increase in body temperature and dehydration resulting in heatstroke.
"Heatstroke, if not prevented and treated early, can cause death," he told reporters here.
He said pilgrims should be aware of the symptoms of heatstroke such as dry skin and redness, dry tongue and lips, dizziness, muscle cramps and fainting.
According to him, pilgrims should seek immediate treatment if they experience these symptoms at the health centres provided by Tabung Haji (TH).
Dr Asraf said all pilgrims are at risk of heatstroke, but the elderly over 60 and those with health problems such as diabetes and kidney disease are more at risk.
"The way to prevent heatstroke is to avoid being under the scorching heat of the sun for a long period of time.
"Make sure we always hydrate ourselves by drinking at least 2l of water, use an umbrella or sunscreen lotion and wear loose clothing," he said.
The first batch of 284 Malaysian Haj pilgrims is scheduled to arrive in Madinah on Sunday (May 21).
Meanwhile, TH's Madinah Zone One manager for the 1444 Hijrah Haj season, Mohamad Abas, reminded pilgrims to always wear the badge provided by TH to make it easier for staff to provide assistance in the event of an emergency.
He said TH is ready to receive pilgrims who would stay at Saja Al Madinah, Anwar Al Madinah Movenpick and Emaar Royal Hotel. - Bernama