Health hazards alert up in GenSan as summer’s getting hotter

GENERAL SANTOS CITY(MindaNews/22 march) – Health authorities here cautioned residents against the possible health hazards posed by the worsening summer heat in the area that already reached as high as 36 degrees Celcius in the last several days.

Dr. Edgardo Sandig, City Integrated Health Services Office (CIHSO) chief, said residents should avoid exposure to direct sunlight in lengthy periods as it might trigger illnesses that could lead to serious complications or even death.

He said the unusually warm temperature could also aggravate certain illnesses, among them respiratory-related conditions.

“At the onset, you will suffer heat exhaustion-like symptoms. Dehydration will come in next and that might lead to a person’s collapse,” the official said.

A resident of Barangay Apopong here was reported to have died last week after his long-time illness was supposedly aggravated by the prevailing warm temperature.

Two cases of severe asthma attacks triggered by intense heat were also reported in Barangays Lagao and Calumpang here.

Dante Arriola, senior weatherman of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration station here, said residents should brace for temperatures ranging from 35-36 degrees Celcius in the coming days.

He said that aside from the onset of the summer season, the area is also affected by the warm easterly wind coming from the Pacific Ocean.

“The intense period is usually from 12 noon to 3 p.m., so people should avoid going out then and get exposed to direct sunlight,” he said.

To counter the effects of the intense temperature, Sandig said residents should drink plenty of water and make sure that they complete the prescribed six to eight glasses per day.

If they could not avoid going out of their houses or any confined environment, he said they should wear or carry some protection from sunlight like umbrellas or head gears.

“Over exposure to direct sunlight could destroy our body’s temperature control mechanism. The result of this is the loss of the cooling effect and there’s a tendency that it would lead to heat stroke, which might lead to death,” he added. (Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)