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Heat stroke or heat exhaustion?

Particularly warm days, which can arise as spring gives way to the dog days of summer, can be both uncomfortable and unhealthy. Such days also can prove deadly. Despite that threat, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that heat-related illnesses are preventable. Harmful outcomes also are preventable when people learn to distinguish between heat-related illnesses. Heatstroke and heat exhaustion are easily confused, but the two conditions produce noticeably different symptoms. Recognition of that can help anyone stay healthy or help someone in need as the mercury rises this summer.

Heatstroke symptoms

• Elevated body temperature, typi cally 103 F or 104 F or higher • Hot, red, dry, or damp skin • Fast, strong pulse • Headache • Dizziness • Nausea • Confusion • Loss of consciousness Heat exhaustion symptoms

• Heavy sweating • Cold, pale and clammy skin • Fast, weak pulse • Nausea or vomiting • Muscle cramps • Feelings of tiredness or weakness • Dizziness • Headache • Fainting Anyone experiencing these or other abnormal symptoms on hot days is urged to immediately move to a cool place and seek medical help. The CDC notes that heatstroke is a medical emergency, so individuals who suspect they or someone in their presence is experiencing heatstroke should call 911 immediately. If heat exhaustion is suspected, seek immediate medical help if a person is vomiting, experiencing symptoms that are worsening or sticking around for one hour or longer. More information about heat-related illnesses is available at

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