With forecasters expecting the weather to soar close to 50 degrees in Dubai this week, medical experts at Dubai Health Authority (DHA) share tips on how to prevent heat strokes and exhaustion.
The National Center for Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS) expects temperatures to reach between 45 and 49 degrees Celsius, with humidity levels reaching a maximum of 90 per cent in internal areas and 95 per cent along the coast.
When the weather reaches such high temperatures, doctors say the public can be prone to heat stroke and exhaustion, especially infants, children and the elderly.
“Heat exhaustion is defined by symptoms that include thirst, fatigue, headache and twitching. If the case worsens, they can get heat strokes – its symptoms include a fever of 40 degrees Celsius and higher, headache, rapid breathing, altered mental behaviour and ultimately fainting," said Dr Fadi Moborrak Senior Specialties, ER, at Dubai Hospital.
Dr Moborrak explained that being exposed directly to the sun is not the only cause of heat strokes. Heat without sun and humidity, which can cause a green glass effect, can cause heat exhaustion and behaviour.
Dr Sara Kazim Consultant Emergency Physician at Rashid Hospital said a person loses 2 litres of water by sweating every 24 hours, and when a person suffers from heat exhaustion, they can lose 10 litres of water in less than 24 hours.
Therefore, both doctors warned people who wear heavy clothes while exercising to lose weight faster to stop doing so as it can cause health problems, adding that the weight they are losing is just water not fat.
To avoid heat strokes, Dr Kazim advised Dubai residents to avoid undertaking sports and outdoor activities between 9am to 6pm and wear lightweight and light-coloured clothes.
Dr Kazim also advised the public to drink lots of fluids, and juices. Because heat-related illness also can result from salt depletion, it may be advisable to substitute an electrolyte-rich sports drink for water during periods of extreme heat and humidity.
Dr Kazim and Dr Moborrak advised people to avoid tanning in such harsh weather and switch outdoor activities with indoor activities.
They added Dubai residents should avoid the outdoors during the summer especially if they are diabetic, pregnant, suffer from neurological diseases, MS patients and epilepsy patients.