Heat stroke, also known as hyperthermia, results from prolonged exposure to high temperatures and can be fatal.
It occurs when the mechanisms the body uses to cool itself become overwhelmed by heat and stop working properly, raising the body’s core temperature to more than 40oC.
Signs include confusion, headaches, dizziness, short and rapid breathing, a fast pulse and weakness. If not treated, it can lead to unconsciousness, organ failure and death.
If you suspect someone has heat stroke, get medical help immediately. Keep them cool while you’re waiting for the ambulance by wrapping them in cold, wet cloths and fanning their wet skin.
Stay cool with fans and air-conditioning where possible, opening windows to let in air and closing curtains to block sun, having cool showers and baths, and wearing loose cotton clothing. Make sure you stay hydrated by frequently sipping fluids.