High temperatures and humidity hitting large parts of the U.S. last week collided with the ongoing challenges many people face from inflation and high energy costs.
Nearly one-third of the U.S. population was under heat warnings and advisories last week due to an early-season heat wave that is blanketing a huge portion of the country, bringing scorching temperatures and high humidity to millions of Americans across the Midwest and the South. Scientists have said that climate change is fueling more frequent and more intense heat waves in the U.S. and around the world. As temperatures climb, access to cooling resources can be a matter of life and death.
Heat is sometimes known as a “silent killer” because symptoms of heat-related illness can often go unnoticed until it’s too late. The body’s organs can become overtaxed and shut down if they lose the ability to regulate temperature, and heat can also worsen symptoms from underlying conditions such as cardiac disease, diabetes or kidney problems.
Young children, the elderly, people experiencing homelessness and individuals with pre-existing medical conditions are among those at highest risk of heat-related illness and death when temperatures soar.
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