Heatwaves: the new normal
Heatwaves: the new normal

Heatwave leaves seven people in hospital

SEVEN people have been treated in public hospitals for heat-related conditions across the Darling Downs in the past two days.

The mercury hit 36 degrees in Toowoomba yesterday and is set to remain in the mid 30s across today and tomorrow, before cooling down to a top of 23 degrees on Thursday.

The Bureau of Meteorology has described the hot weather, which is well above November averages, as a severe heatwave.

"On Sunday and until lunchtime Monday, there were seven patients who presented with heat-related conditions at public hospital emergency departments across the Darling Downs and South Burnett," a Darling Downs Health spokeswoman said.

"These conditions included dehydration, fainting and heat stress."

Darling Downs Public Health Unit director Dr Penny Hutchinson said hot weather could lead to dehydration, sunburn and other more serious heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke.

"Heat stroke occurs when a person's core body temperature becomes high and doesn't cool down," Dr Hutchinson said.

"The condition can be caused by not drinking enough water, spending too much time in the sun and not being able to cool down quickly.

"Some of the symptoms of heat-related illness include dizziness, headaches, bright or dark urine which indicates possible dehydration, nausea or vomiting, and fainting.

"In extreme cases, heat stroke can lead to confusion or slurred speech, a rapid pulse, vomiting and diarrhoea, and a loss of consciousness."

Dr Hutchinson said it was important to regularly drink cool water throughout the day and avoid outdoor activities.

What are heatwaves?: Heatwaves explained.
What are heatwaves?: Heatwaves explained.