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Increased 'heat-related' illness

Heat-related illness have increased, Public Health England (PHE) has warned, as a heatwave continues across the UK. 

Data collected from GP consultations, NHS telephone helplines and emergency departments shows many people are seeking help for heatstroke, sunburn or dehydration. 

However, there have been no excess deaths between Monday 8 July and Sunday 14 July, PHE reported. 

Since 1 June 2013 the Met Office has issued Level 2 and Level 3 heatwave alerts across most areas of England, with the latest for the West Midlands, the South West and London. 

Dr Angie Bone, Heatwave Plan Lead for PHE, said: “The information from our surveillance systems shows an increase in reports of heat related illness, in line with expectations for the hot weather.

“Institutions and organisations that look after large numbers of potentially vulnerable people such as hospitals, care homes, nurseries, schools and prisons need to be particularly aware of the actions recommended in the Heatwave plan.” 

Public Health England has warned that heat exhaustion and heatstroke can be very serious if not treated quickly. 

Symptoms of heatstroke include mental confusion, rapid shallow breathing and a loss of consciousness. 

Dr Bone added: “PHE will continue to monitor this surveillance and will produce regular updates on the impact of the heatwave on health.”