NWS issues heat advisory; Deschutes County health officials urge staying cool, hydrated – and informed

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — The National Weather Service in Pendleton has issued a heat advisory for Central Oregon and the northeast part of the state for much of the coming week, and that has Deschutes County health officials urging steps to avoid heat-related illness.

The NWS advisory is in place from 11 a.m. Monday to 11 p.m. Thursday, for high temperatures across the region from the mid-90s to the low 100s.

Central Oregon will also likely experience more poor air quality over the next several days. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued an air quality advisory for Deschutes County through Sunday.  

It is important to stay informed about forecast temperatures and air quality. Check current air quality conditions and learn more about how to protect yourself during periods of smoke on the Oregon Smoke Information Blog. 

As temperatures increase, so do heat-related illnesses. Deschutes County Public Health suggests the following strategies to stay healthy during periods of smoke and heat:

  • Drink water and bring extra bottles for yourself and others.
  • Drink more water than usual and don’t wait until you are thirsty. Talk to your doctor first if you are on water pills.
  • Avoid alcohol and sugary drinks.
  • Take a cool shower or bath.
  • Use air conditioning or a fan.
  • Don’t use a fan to blow extremely hot air on yourself – when temperatures cool and  air quality improves to moderate or healthy (yellow or green on the Air Quality Index), open windows and doors to air out and cool homes and businesses
  • Wear lightweight and loose clothing.
  • Avoid using your stove or oven – plan ahead so you don’t need to generate additional heat in your home for meal preparation.
  • Avoid going outside during the hottest part of the day (3 – 7 p.m.)

Anyone can get heat-related illnesses. So think about the family and friends who may need you to check on them during extreme heat. People who are very young, elderly, overweight or have medical conditions are at higher risk, as are athletes or those who work outdoors.

“People may not realize that heat-related illnesses can be deadly,” said Dr. Richard Fawcett, Deschutes County Health Officer “so extremely hot temperatures should not be taken lightly.”

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Irritability
  • Thirst
  • Heavy sweating
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Decreased urine output

Symptoms of heat stroke include:

  • Confusion, altered mental status, slurred speech
  • Loss of consciousness (coma)
  • Hot, dry skin or profuse sweating
  • Seizures
  • Very high body temperature
  • Fatal if treatment delayed

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