First Heat-Related Death Reported in County

A 65-year-old Ferguson woman, whose home air conditioner was  not working, is the first confirmed heat-related death in Saint Louis County this summer, according to the medical examiner.  The body was discovered yesterday.

Extreme heat is expected to continue in the area through tomorrow; a heat advisory has been issued that remains in effect until 7:00 p.m. on Saturday.  In addition to the heat-related death, nine (9) patients have been treated for heat-related symptoms in Saint Louis County this week, including one (1) who was hospitalized.

Whenever temperatures rise above 95 degrees, the Saint Louis County Department of Health recommends the following:

Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing.

Spend as little time as possible in the sun and keep activity levels to a minimum.

Drink plenty of cool, non-alcoholic beverages, especially those without sugar or caffeine.

Take regular breaks in the shade or in an air-conditioned room.

Eat light, easily-digested foods, avoiding hot, heavy, or greasy meals.

Be sure not to leave food unrefrigerated for long – food spoils rapidly in the heat.

Take care of those who might not be aware of the danger or able to react accordingly –especially young children and the elderly.  Check on your neighbors and relatives if they may be vulnerable or do not have air conditioning.

Know the signs of heat exhaustion.  If someone becomes dizzy, nauseated, or sweats heavily, find a cooler location for him or her immediately.

Know the signs of heat stroke.  Heat stroke is much more serious than heat exhaustion.  The symptoms are similar to heat exhaustion, but also include hot, flushed skin, and normally sweating stops.  If heat stroke is a possibility, call 911 immediately.  Heat stroke is life threatening.

If a person is unable to keep his or her residence cool and needs to find a cooling center, that person is urged to call the United Way of Greater Saint Louis by dialing 211 from his or her home landline phone, or by dialing 1-800-427-4626 from any other type of phone.

Residents are also urged to consider pets whenever temperatures rise.  Here are some tips for protecting pets during hot weather:

Regularly check a pet’s water to make sure it’s clean and fresh.  Ample drinking water is vital to animals during hot and humid conditions.  Make sure to adjust the drinking quantity for the size and number of pets in the area.  You can also spray your pet with water to cool them off.

Provide a shady spot for pets.  A pen near trees will work or you can fasten a sunroom screen to the sides and top of the pen to provide shade too.

Never leave your pet unattended in a hot vehicle.  Internal vehicle temperatures can reach 150 degrees.

For more information, visit the St. Louios County Deparment of Health Safety Tips website  at:

The Saint Louis County Department of Health is a member of Operation Weather Survival – a network of public and private organizations that collaborate, coordinate resources, and help educate the public to prevent illness, injury, and death caused by extreme hot or cold weather.  More information about Operation Weather Survival can be found at:


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