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The following is a press release from the Antigua and Barbuda Meteorological Services:

Heat Index or Feels-Like Temperature: Up to around 45 °C or 113 °F

Location: Antigua and Barbuda

Timing: 9 am to 4 pm until Saturday.

Synopsis: Light winds and relatively high humidity will allow for the heat index to rise to excessive levels resulting in dangerously hot conditions. The threat of health problems, for mainly sensitive people is forecast to be high. An excess heat warning is issued when the combination of heat, humidity and light winds is expected to make the temperature feels like 41 °C or 106 °F or higher, for two or more consecutive days. The max heat index yesterday was 45 °C or 113 °F, similar is expected today.

Sensitive groups: While extreme heat can put everyone at risk for heat illnesses, health risks are greatest for the elderly, young children, people with chronic illnesses such as breathing difficulties, heart conditions or psychiatric illnesses, people who work or who exercise in the heat, homeless people and low-income earners.

Potential Health implications: Heat illnesses, including heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat illnesses can lead to long-term health problems and heat stroke can lead to death.

Caution: If any symptoms of health illness are present (such as dizziness or fainting, nausea or vomiting, headache, rapid breathing and heartbeat, or extreme thirst) immediately move to a cool place and drink liquids; water is best. The most dangerous heat illness is heat stroke, with symptoms that include complete or partial loss of consciousness or confusion and high body temperature. If caring for someone with those symptoms, call 911 immediately. While waiting for help, cool the person right away by moving them to a cool place, applying cold water to large areas of the skin or clothing and fanning the person as much as possible.

Everyone should stay alert and take precaution – stay cool and hydrated. Check on vulnerable family members, friends and neighbours. Those who take medication or have a health condition should ask their doctor if it increases their health risk in the heat and follow their recommendation.

Stay tuned to updates coming out of the Met Office via antiguamet.com and facebook.com/abmetservice

Dale Destin

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