Heatwave: Thirteen cases of heat-related illness recorded this year


PUTRAJAYA: The Health Ministry recorded 13 cases of heat-related illness from the 1st to the 9th Epidemiological Week.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Muhammad Radzi Abu Hassan said of that number, four were heatstroke cases, while another nine were related to heat exhaustion.

"All cases resulted from outdoor physical activities during hot weather conditions. One case of heat stroke required close monitoring in the Intensive Care Unit, while another case of heat exhaustion received treatment in the general ward at the Sultanah Maliha Hospital, Langkawi, Kedah.

"Eleven other cases have undergone treatment and fully recovered,” he said in a statement on Friday (March 1).

Dr Muhammad Radzi said Perak had seven cases of heat-related illness, followed by Kedah with five cases and Sabah reported one case.

On Thursday (Feb 29), the Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia), in a statement posted on its Facebook page, said that the Pokok Sena area in Kedah recorded a level two heatwave.

A level two heatwave refers to daily maximum temperatures of 37 to 40 degrees Celsius for at least three consecutive days.

According to the statement, the alert-level hot weather was recorded in 21 areas across the peninsula, namely Perlis; Pulau Langkawi, Kota Setar, Kubang Pasu, Padang Terap, Sik, Yan, Pendang and Baling, Kedah; Seberang Perai Utara, Seberang Perai Tengah and Timur Laut in Penang; Kuala Kangsar, Perak; Petaling and Sepang in Selangor; Kuala Lumpur; Beaufort, Sabah; and Limbang, Sarawak.

Level one heatwave refers to daily maximum temperatures of 35 to 37 degrees Celsius for at least three consecutive days.

Meanwhile, Dr Muhammad Radzi said prolonged exposure to hot weather and inadequate hydration can pose health risks, especially for high-risk groups such as children, the elderly, and those with chronic diseases.

"Symptoms of illness resulting from extreme heat include headache, fatigue, dizziness, muscle spasms or cramps, and nausea.

"Extreme conditions can lead to dehydration, confusion, and coma,” he said.

As such, Dr Muhammad Radzi urged the public to take precautionary steps during hot weather conditions, especially in Ramadan, by planning outdoor activities to avoid the heat peak periods between 11am and 4pm.

He said that it is strongly recommended to consume a minimum of eight glasses of water daily, especially for those fasting, to maintain proper hydration levels and regulate body temperature.

In addition, Dr Muhammad Radzi said it is advisable to reduce the consumption of sweetened, caffeinated, and carbonated beverages, as they can hinder proper hydration.

"For high-risk groups such as babies, children and the elderly, it is important to ensure that they drink enough water to avoid dehydration.

"Be vigilant for signs of fatigue in babies, children, and the elderly as they may experience dehydration without realising it,” he said.

Dr Muhamamd Radzi said that individuals experiencing symptoms of illness due to hot weather should promptly seek medical attention at a nearby health facility.- Bernama

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