Extreme summer heat has claimed the lives of as many as 21 people this year, officials said Thursday.
Dr Amnuay Kajina, director of the Department of Communicable Disease Control, said Thailand continues to be hit by a heatwave affecting many different parts of the country. “People must take extra caution against illnesses caused by the sweltering heat,’’ he said.
He said the mercury in some areas may rise above 40 degrees Celsius, adding that if people’s bodies cannot release heat continuously, they could fall ill and die from heat stroke.
He said heat stroke is caused when people’s bodies cannot adjust or release excess heat. The symptoms include headaches, blackouts, convulsions, shortness of breath, an irregular heartbeat and shock. “Without immediate treatment, heat stroke can lead to death,’’ Amnuay said.
He said 56 people had died as a result of the heatwave last year, most of whom were men and 33 per cent were labourers. Another 33 per cent died while doing activities or work in the sun.