Heat Stress Illness and Temperature Graph
Heat Stress Illness
Exposure to excessive ambient temperature can cause serious illness, injuries, or death, especially if exposure occurs over an extended period of time. Over the past 5 years an average of 10 Kansas residents die each year with exposure to natural heat as the immediate or underlying cause. Also, each year more than a hundred people are hospitalized due to heat stress. When the body’s temperature control is overwhelmed, it causes the body temperature to rise rapidly leading to damages of vital organs such as the brain and the kidneys. When the humidity is high, sweat will not evaporate fast enough to prevent the body from overheating. Elevated environmental heat is a serious health threat regardless of age, sex, race, or ethnicity. However, some are more at risk of dying of heat stress than others, that includes the elderly, the very young, and people with preexisting chronic conditions. Obesity and mental illnesses poses additional risks during periods with excessive outdoor temperatures.
An important goal of this web site is to provide basic information to the public on how to protect themselves and their family members and their pets during extreme heat events. It also provides easily accessible resources to local public health and emergency management officials as well as other decision makers to facilitate their outreach efforts to the most vulnerable members of their communities.
Emergency Department Visits (Syndromic Surveillance) Heat Stress