Sweltering heat means staying hydrated more crucial for those with COVID


ST. LOUIS – Many go outside to exercise and stay healthy these days but it’s important to remember going outside in this heat can be dangerous for your health.

With humidity rising in the next several days, it will be harder to stay cool outside.

Heat-related illness is on the rise. This comes as COVID-19 cases are also on the rise. Local emergency rooms have seen an uptick in patients with higher wait times.

When you combine heat and COVID-19, the effects of the two can be even more dangerous. This is as people showing symptoms of the virus often have heavy breathing. When breathing heavier, you expel water more quickly, causing you to dehydrate faster. With COVID-19, this means you need to drink even more fluids.

Having the virus and being dehydrated in the heat places you at higher risk for heat exhaustion and stroke. And symptoms like nausea and vomiting can dehydrate you quick.

Other groups at high risk are the elderly and children, simply because they don’t know when to drink and when to get out of the heat.

“We must keep an eye on our family and friends and be especially vigilant with our elderly friends and family and young children, since they won’t always know when to drink fluids,” said Dr. Robert Poirier, chief of emergency medicine at Barnes-Jewish Hospital’s emergency department. “A good judge is drink enough to keep your urine clear.”

You should check in on the elderly if they live alone, Poirier says. 

You can call 211 to find out where you can access cooling shelters or visit Cool Down St. Louis online.

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