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Heat wave threatens health in several Brazilian states

More than 1,600 Brazilian municipalities received a danger alert for a heat wave between last Saturday, the 16th, until next Monday, the 18th. The alert was issued by the National Institute of Meteorology (Inmet) as a warning.

Heat waves are defined when temperatures remain between 3°C and 5°C above standard during a certain period and can have a significant impact on the health of the population, especially in the most vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, children, people with chronic health problems, pregnant women and homeless people.

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Recommendations from the Ministry of Health

Protection against the sun and heat is essential. It is recommended to avoid direct exposure to the sun, especially between 10 am and 4 pm, use sunscreen, hats and sunglasses, and wear light clothing. It is also important to reduce physical exertion and rest in cool, ventilated places. Hydration is another crucial aspect, drinking water or natural juices, even without feeling thirsty.

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At home, it is advisable to close curtains and windows exposed to heat, open windows at night and use less bedding. The Ministry of Health also advises seeking medical attention if you suffer from any chronic illness, and seeking specialized help if you experience any of the following symptoms: dizziness, weakness, anxiety, intense thirst and headache.


Inmet map showing the states on maximum danger alert due to the heat wave, including parts of Paraná, São Paulo and Mato Grosso do Sul (Photo: reproduction/Inmet)


High temperatures

According to Inmet, the maximum alert was issued due to the increase in average temperature by 5°C. This alert affects 556 municipalities in Paraná, south, east and center-north of Mato Grosso do Sul, in addition to some locations in São Paulo, including Presidente Prudente, São José do Rio Preto, Piracicaba, Ribeirão Preto, Araçatuba, Marília, Araraquara and Bauru. Furthermore, some areas of the São Paulo Metropolitan Region are under alert for potential danger, such as Vale do Paraíba and the south coast.

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In the metropolis of São Paulo, for example, temperatures above 34°C were recorded on Saturday, according to data from the City Hall's Climate Emergency Management Center (CGE). In the early hours of Sunday, the 17th, the weather remained hot, with 25°C and no rain. These extreme weather conditions require special attention and care to avoid heat-related health problems.

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The expectation is that the hot climate will persist, with a rapid increase in temperature, which could exceed 35°C. The predicted minimum temperature is 24°C. According to the CGE, in the coming days there will still be plenty of sun and heat, “however, the rains will return little by little in the form of isolated showers in the late afternoons”. The autumn season begins on Wednesday the 20th.

Featured Photo: extreme heat wave in São Paulo, with temperatures above 34°C, putting the city on alert for potential danger (Reproduction/Tomaz Silva/Agência Brasil)

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Heat wave threatens health in several Brazilian states

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