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Hot weather raises health risks

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With very hot weather likely to continue for some time, it is important that people learn to protect themselves from the heat, especially those in six vulnerable groups. 

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A woman at the Lumpini anti-government rally site covers up. Photos by Patipat Janthong.

Hot weather raises heat stroke alert

Online reporters

Health officials on Wednesday warned people in six high-risk groups about the possibility of heat stroke, which could be fatal if not promptly and properly treated.

Narong Sahametapat, public health permanent secretary, said the risk groups were outdoor workers, children aged below five and the elderly, people with high blood pressure, obese people, sleep-deprived individuals and heavy drinkers.

Heat stroke occurs when the body is unable to control its temperature. It can cause death or permanent disability if not treated promptly. The symptoms include high body temperature, throbbing headache, dizziness, irregular heartbeat and shock.

Department of Disease Control (DDC) director-general Sopon Mekthon said heat stroke often developed from milder heat-related illnesses such as sun burn, heat cramps and heat exhaustion.  

A tourist at Wat Phra Kaew seems well-protected against the sun's rays.

With the temperature climbing above 40 degrees Celsius in some areas now, Dr Sopon suggested people wear light-coloured, loose-fitting clothing made of breathable fabric, avoid vigorous physical outdoor activities, drink plenty of water and never leave children or the elderly in a closed car.

Heat stroke has claimed 196 lives since 2003, 20 of which occurred between March and April last year. Most of the fatalities are elderly people with chronic health conditions or heavy drinkers, according to the Bureau of Epidemiology.    

An umbrella is not much protection for this vendor.

Dr Sopon said first-aid measures included moving the person to a cool, shaded area and lying them down with both legs lifted to increase upward blood circulation. They should be cooled if possible – either by soaking their clothes with water, sponging or fanning — before being taken to hospital.

The patients with mild symptoms are advised to drink a lot of water, he said.

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Vocabulary:

blood pressure: the pressure at which blood flows from your heart around your body - ความดันโลหิต,ความดันของเลือดที่มีต่อผนังภายในเส้นเลือด

circulation: the movement of blood around the body - การไหลเวียนโลหิต

claim lives: to kill people -

cramping: a condition in which you experience a sudden pain when the muscles in a particular part of your body contract, usually caused by cold or too much exercise - ตะคริว

deprive: to prevent someone from having something - ทำให้ไม่ได้รับ

disability: an illness, injury or condition that makes it difficult for someone to do the things that other people do - ความพิการ

dizziness: feeling as if everything is spinning around you and that you are not able to balance - เวียนศีรษะ

elderly: (of people) old - สูงวัย, อาวุโส, อายุมาก

epidemiology: the study of how diseases spread - ต้นกำเนิดและการพัฒนาของเชื้อโรค, ระบาดวิทยา, การศึกษาเกี่ยวกับสาเหตุและการแพร่ของเชื้อโรคในประชากร

exhaustion: the state of being very tired - ความเหนื่อยอ่อน, ความอ่อนเพลีย, การหมดแรง

fabric: cloth, especially when it is used for making things such as clothes or curtains - ผ้าหรือสิ่งทอ

fatal: causing someone to die - ถึงตาย

first-aid: simple medical treatment that is given to somebody before a doctor comes or before the person can be taken to a hospital - การปฐมพยาบาล

individuals: persons - บุคคล

irregular: not according to what is expected - ผิดปกติ

measure: an action taken to solve a particular problem - มาตรการ

mild: not strong - เบา, ไม่หนัก, ไม่รุนแรง

obese: fat; over-weight - อ้วน

permanent: happening or existing for a long time or for all time in the future - ถาวร  

permanent secretary: a government official, not a political appointee, in charge of a ministry - ปลัดกระทรวง

plenty: more than enough - มากพอ

promptly: in an immediate or quick way - ทันที

properly: in a way that is correct and/or appropriate - อย่างเหมาะสม, อย่างถูกต้อง

protection: the act of protecting somebody/something; the state of being protected - การอารักขา, การปกป้อง

rally site: a place where a large public gathering happens - สถานที่ชุมนุม

ray: a narrow line of light that you can see coming from the sun or a light - รังสี

risk: the possibility that something dangerous or unpleasant might happen - ความเสี่ยง

shade: an area that is dark and cool under or behind something, for example a tree or building, because the sun's light does not get to it - ร่ม

shock: a serious medical condition, usually the result of injury in which a person has lost a lot of blood and they are extremely weak - ช็อก, อาการสั่นกระตุก,อาการเป็นลม,อาการแน่นิ่งไปอย่างกระทันหัน

soak: to make something very wet - ทำให้เปียกโชก

sponge: to wash somebody/yourself/something with a wet cloth or sponge - เช็ดถูด้วยฟองน้ำ

stroke: a medical condition is which the blood flow is suddenly stopped and cannot reach the brain - อาการเส้นโลหิตในสมองแตกอย่างเฉียบพลัน

suggest: to mention an idea or a plan for somebody else to think about - เสนอ, เสนอแนะ

symptom: a sign that someone has an illness - อาการ

temperature: a measurement of how hot or how cold a place or object is - อุณหภูมิ

throbbing: having pain coming and going again and again in a regular pattern - ปวดตุบ ๆ

treat: to provide medical care - รักษา

vendor: someone who sells something, but often not in a shop - พ่อค้าแม่ค้าแผงลอย

vigorous: very forceful or energetic - กระฉับกระเฉง

warn: to make someone aware of a possible problem or danger - เตือน

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