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Though this summer has seemed milder, heat-related illness has been an issue for dozens in Greene County. KSMU's Benjamin Fry reports.
Health officials say 52 cases of heat-related illness have been reported in Greene County this year.
Jaci McReynolds is the spokesperson for the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.
"The majority of the cases we've seen this year have been diagnosed as heat exhaustion. However we did have five people who were hospitalized. However I'm pleased to report that we have not had any deaths this year."
McReynolds says 23 of the cases occurred during a heat wave from July 30th to August 5th.
Heat exhaustion occurs when high temperatures slow down blood flow to the vital organs.
Symptoms can include nausea, excessive sweating, and feeling faint.
McReynolds advises getting someone with signs of heat exhaustion to a cool location and giving them water.
Much more severe than heat exhaustion is heat stroke, which requires immediate medical attention.
"And that occurs when your body temperature climbs to 105 degrees or higher. You might see symptoms like vomiting, rapid or weak pulse, rapid shallow breathing, disorientation."
Those who have reported heat-related illness have generally been outside workers, so McReynolds says it's important to take frequent breaks and have a coworker checking on you throughout the day.
Frequent hydration is also important.
McReynolds advises not waiting until you are thirsty to drink water as you may already be dehydrated.
Lately, the Ozarks have been spared from potentially-dangerous heat.
Meteorologist Megan Terry with the National Weather Service in Springfield says this week we should continue to see temperatures at or below normal.
"That's mainly due to a low-pressure system currently over the Red River Valley. It's moving very slowly. It's going to increase our cloud cover and bring us some rain for much of this upcoming week."
After that, Terry says Tropical Storm Fay's path into the U.S. may continue the trend of cool wet weather, but that there's also a chance of temperatures rising above normal by the end of August.
For KSMU news, I'm Benjamin Fry.