The summer of 2022 has been alarming so far, with temperatures rising up to as high as 50 degrees Celsius across states and North India area state governments issuing heatwave warnings every other week. According to news reports, the temperature has touched record highs this year, especially in the north-western and central regions of India. Business Standard has also reported that Haryana recorded the highest temperature of 48.1 degrees Celsius since 1966 and Delhi saw an intense heat wave of 49 degrees Celsius recently.
The recent news about heatwave Delhi 2022 has taken people aback with everyone wondering - How to protect yourself from heat stroke in such adverse conditions? Read along to find out more about heatwave Delhi 2022, heatwave causes, more information for health tips to protect your family from the harmful impact of heatwaves.
What is a heatwave?
To understand the consequences of a heatwave, you must know what a heatwave is.
A heat wave is declared when the normal temperature rises to 6 degrees Celsius, resulting in a sudden burst of excessively hot weather of 45 degrees Celsius or above. This is when intense high-pressure winds affect a region for 2 days or above. The current situation faced by North India people is now being classified as a grave heatwave.
Most Affected Areas
This year, March and April saw early and unprecedented heat across regions in India with being the hottest and April being the fourth-hottest months in 122 years.
Burning temperatures over 45 degrees Celsius were observed in other parts of Delhi like Jafarpur, Pitampura, and Ayanagar. This rapidly rising heatwave also affected the Western part of the country where Maharashtra recorded about 25 deaths due to heat stroke!
The north-western state of Punjab experienced an extremely hot weather of 47.7 degrees Celsius in its city Muktsar. With no signs of the rain season approaching anytime soon, north India people are dejected at the lack of rainfall, which has been considered the prominent reason for this intense heatwave.
Heatwave Warning: Factors Contributing to Rising Temperature
There are various factors that lead to the severe heatwave condition that we’re witnessing right now.
A heatwave is essentially a high-pressure system that obstructs winds, clouds and other weather systems from entering an area, thus creating a pocket of intense heat. Atmospheric pressure is the leading cause of intense heat waves.
North Indian states are land-locked which certainly encourages the prevailing heatwave conditions. With the Tropic of Cancer directly passing through 8 states in India, direct overhead sunlight can prove to be very harmful for the country folks.
Climate change and Global Warming
Excessive use of fossil fuels results in the accumulation of greenhouse gases, which further contribute to intense and frequent heat waves. Greenhouse gases trap more heat in the earth’s atmosphere. This leads to extreme temperatures during summer. Other factors that contribute to global warming such as urbanization and deforestation are also the leading causes for heatwave Delhi 2022.
Impact of Heatwave: Symptoms and More
In the conditions of this rising heatwave, it has become extremely important to know the basics of what a heat stroke is, its symptoms, remedies and how to treat a heat stroke. While it is absolutely crucial for you to consult with a medical professional in case you feel uneasy during heatwaves, here are some signs and symptoms that are generally associated with a heatwave.
Hyperthermia, which means abnormally high body temperature, is one of the most common symptoms of being affected by a heatwave. It can lead to several related problems such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion and even a heat stroke! The common symptoms are high body temperature, spasms in muscles, heavy sweating and immoderate thirst. It may also affect your liver, kidney, heart and lungs.
Dehydration is another common yet essential problem that North India people encounter during summer heatwaves. Extreme thirst, the yellowing of urine, dryness in mouth and tongue are common symptoms of dehydration. Drink ample water and keep yourself hydrated at all times to prevent a heat stroke.
At the worst of it all, intense heatwave conditions may cause chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular abnormalities, respiratory diseases, cerebrovascular diseases, and diabetes-related problems. Continued exposure to the scorching sun may also impact your psychological health. Hence, it is very important for you to stay safe and hydrated in this heat!
Awareness and Prevention
It all ultimately comes down to one question – How to protect yourself from heat stroke in such harsh weather conditions?
Let’s have a look at what the experts have to say.
Dehydration is your worst enemy in a heatwave! The first step to prevent dehydration is to drink ample fluids throughout the day to counter loss of fluids in the form of sweat and urine. Apart from regular drinking water, fresh juices without preservatives, fruits and vegetables are the best sources of hydration to stay healthy and fit in the heat. Avoid alcohol and caffeine. It is also advisable to avoid foods containing a high sugar value.
Keep your residential area cool and reduce the heat load of your home. Open all the windows at home during the night and early morning allowing ventilation across the space. You can also hang wet towels in your living space to reduce the temperature of your home.
Try to avoid stepping out when the sun is at its peak. In case of emergency, cover your head with a cap or clothes. Step out with an umbrella and sunglasses. If you find yourself feeling uneasy during heatwaves, immediately step indoors and seek medical aid.
Learn the basics of first-aid to help yourself and the people around you in times of emergency.
Make sure to avoid administering any unknown medicines and drugs to people afflicted with heatwave conditions. Diuretics and anti-hypertensive drugs are to be strictly avoided to prevent the risk of unexpected health complications.
With several parts of India facing record high temperatures, it is very important for you to keep yourself well-informed about the latest heatwave news updates and health directives.
Follow our blog to stay vigilant about the most relevant health updates like the heatwave conditions in North India and more. Protect you and your loved ones from adverse health hazards with our team of experts at Delhi Medical Negligence.
The Author :
Dr. Sunil Khattri
Dr Sunil Khattri MBBS, MS(General Surgery), LLB, is a Medical doctor and is a practicing Advocate in the Supreme Court of India and National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi.