NC heat-related illnesses sent more than 3,100 to hospital

North Carolina news

LONDON – JULY 01: A player drinks water on day eight of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 1, 2008 in London, England. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — More than 3,100 people have required emergency hospital visits due to heat-related illnesses in North Carolina over a roughly three-month period, according to the Division of Public Health.

Officials say the visits were reported from May 1 to August 10 and were due to the combination of heat and humidity — particularly during periods of extreme heat.

The NC Department of Health and Human Services says prolonged exposure to heat can lead to dehydration, overheating, heat illness or even death. 

Those showing up at emergency departments were mostly male, ages 25 to 64, and most were seen in hospitals in the state’s Piedmont and Coastal regions. Common activities noted in emergency department visits were working outdoors and recreation, according to a DHHS news release.

By comparison, from May to September 2018, there were 4,024 emergency department visits for heat-related illness, similar to the summers of 2016 and 2017.

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