Rising temperatures in East Texas bring threat of heat-related illness

Rising temperatures in East Texas bring threat of heat-related illness
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

Day after day of hot temperatures; that's the reality here in East Texas as we endure another hot summer. And along with the heat, comes a number of heat-related illnesses.

"They can get into heat-related rashes. They can get into syncope, and they can get into heat exhaustion and heat stroke," said Ann Watson with the Angelina County & Cities Health District. "And of course heat stroke is a 911 medical condition."

With temperatures on the rise, so are your chances of illness the longer you're exposed to the heat. It's something David Yarbrough, the owner of Affordable Yard Care, knows all too well.

"Yeah, yeah. I've gotten sick at my stomach a few times, that's when you know you need to hydrate," Yarbrough said.

Yarbrough and his employees typically start their day at 6 a.m. and may not end it until 11 or 12 hours later. He's been in business for about five years and has learned a few tricks to keep cool.

"We try to stay hydrated; you know, keep plenty of water on the truck. I try to encourage the guys to keep an extra shirt. Wet the shirt; put it around your neck, that kind of helps. You know, definitely don't overdo it," Yarbrough said.

That message of not overdoing it was echoed by City Fire Marshal Steve McCool to Lufkin firefighters, whose gear is hot even on the coolest of days, not to mention in the Texas heat.

"For example in a structure fire, they'll spend 15 to 20 minutes of strenuous activity in the fire ground, then we'll pull them out for at least 10 minutes and monitor their vital signs before they can go in again," McCool said.

So the best advice may be to prevent heat-related illnesses before they occur.

"Stay cool, monitor your body, listen to your body, and stay hydrated," McCool said.

Experts say unless otherwise instructed by your doctor, you should be drinking at least 64 ounces of water everyday.

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