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Data Contradicts Heat-Death Stereotypes

By Steve Bell


KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Forecasters predict a Friday and maybe Saturday respite from excessive heat warnings. But temperatures are predicted to push back to near 100 by Monday, and Mayor Sly James and health department officials are issuing new warnings about the hazards of the heat.

It can take months to confirm a suspected heat-related death. The Health Department was already investigating 19 when Bill Snook reported to the city council yesterday.

Snook says though the elderly and small children are vulnerable to the heat, the idea that they are the only ones who die of it is a misconception. He says half of all heat exhaustion and heat stroke cases during the heat wave that began July 16th were 18 to 44 years old and two-thirds of all suspected heat-related deaths are 65 and under.

He concludes that the real risk is for those who remain in the heat and don't consume enough water, regardless of age.

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