A 64-year-old man who lived in a mobile home in unincorporated St. Charles County has been confirmed as the county's first heat-related death.
The medical examiner announced today that the man, who was discovered in his home on Saturday, July 7, was the victim of hyperthermia, which occurs "when the body produces or absorbs more heat than it can dissipate," according to Wikipedia.
The St. Charles County Department of Community Health and the Environment reported that the victim lived alone, and did not have an air conditioner because of the costs involved. Although a relative offered him a cooler place to live during the heat wave, the man refused.
The Health Department also reported that St. Charles County hospitals have reported 53 heat-related illness cases (29 involving St. Charles County residents and 24 involving those from other counties treated at St. Charles County hospitals) since June.
The National Weather Service reports the St. Charles County area is under an excessive heat warning until 7 p.m. on Thursday.
According to the website, afternoon heat index values are expected to climb between 105 and 110 degrees until Thursday evening and heat related illnesses are a threat that will increase throughout the week.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cautions that around 100 Americans die each year from the heat, and that many more suffer through over-exertion and stress.
The St. Charles County Department of Community Health and the Environment offers these tips to keep your family safe from the heat:
- Drink more fluids, regardless of your activity level. Do not wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
- Don’t drink liquids containing alcohol or large amounts of sugar, as these can actually cause your body to lose even more fluids.
- Stay indoors (in an air-conditioned location) whenever possible. Please call 2-1-1 from a land-line telephone or visit www.health.mo.gov to find heat-relief shelters in your area.
- Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing
- DO NOT leave anyone or any animals in a closed, parked car, as interior temperatures can grow rapidly during a hot day.