Health officials issue heat wave alert

The Ministry of Health, Wellness, Human Services and Gender Relations has issued a heatwave alert.

A statement from the Ministry has observed that Saint Lucia is currently experiencing high heat levels.

It notes that in order to cope with the heatwave, all persons need to ensure that they are hydrated.

The Ministry has also urged citizens to avoid direct sunlight.

It disclosed that officials from the Metrological Services Department have confirmed that the current weather is due to dry atmospheric conditions, accompanied by little cloud cover and very light winds.

According to the Ministry, collectively, these factors place the public at risk of dehydration and its related effects which include dizziness and fainting spells.

The Ministry has advised that to avoid the detrimental effects of the heat wave, members of the public should avoid exposure to direct sunlight, especially between the hours of 11 am and 2 pm and regularly drink water.

“It should be noted that sugar laden drinks are not a substitute for water as they contribute to further dehydration,” the Ministry said.

It observed that the guidelines are particularly important for the elderly and young who tend to be most easily affected by a heat wave.

The Ministry urged persons with diabetes and persons with other chronic diseases to adhere to the precautions.

In addition the Ministry has advised patrons of the national Jazz festivities that high levels of alcohol consumption while exposed to heat can increase the rate of dehydration.

“It is therefore advised to limit alcohol consumption during outdoor activities and increase water intake. Hats, cool light colored protective clothing and sunblock are also useful in limiting the impact of the heat,” the Ministry noted.

It has also advised the adoption of personal protective measures particularly at outdoor events to decrease the possibilities of being bitten by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

This includes the application of insect repellant to exposed skin as recommended by the manufactures.

The use of light coloured, long sleeve shirts and long pants is also effective for reducing exposure to bites, the Ministry observed in the statement.



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