Extreme Heat Sent Thousands to Emergency Rooms in May, June

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Record-high temperatures that scorched the Pacific Northwest in June sent 3,500 people to hospital emergency rooms for heat-related illnesses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.

Emergency room visits in May and June were recorded in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Alaska. Most took place in the last week of June, when Portland reached 116 degrees Fahrenheit (46.7 Celsius).

Average daily heat-related emergency visits in June were seven times higher in the region than in 2019. Researchers didn’t use 2020 as a baseline for comparison because the Covid-19 pandemic distorted typical patterns of hospital visits.

Extreme Heat Sent Thousands to Emergency Rooms in May, June

The report highlights one of the health risks of climate change. In the northwest U.S., “increasing temperatures are projected to cause significant adverse health effects in the coming years,” the agency wrote.

The U.S. records about 700 heat-related deaths in an average year, the CDC said.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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