Heat indices over the past several days have reached well over 100 degrees, although the actual temperature was in the upper 80’s or 90’s. Sunday the heat index was expected to reach as high as 115 degrees.
And that is exactly what is the problem. Heat indeces are formed because of the high humidity that is in the air. Water vapor in the air makes the body feel hotter than it actually is. And the Pennyrile District Health Department (PDHD) acknowledges this fact.
“When the humidity is high, sweat will not evaporate as quickly, preventing the body from releasing heat quickly,” thus making it feel hotter outside, said Beverly Lewis, a health education coordinator a the PDHD.
Sweat is the body’s natural coolant, and when there is a large amount of moisture in the air, sweat will not come off the body as quickly.
As one might expect, when the body doesn’t cool itself properly, harm can come to almost any person. However, Lewis said that some people are at more of a risk than others.
“The elderly, the very young and people with mental illness and chronic disease are at highest risk,” she said. “However even young and very healthy individuals can succumb to heat if they participate in strenuous physical activities during hot weather.”
For the rest of this story, please see this week's edition of The Cadiz Record.