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Journal Article


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA. MMWR Morb. Mortal. Wkly. Rep. 1997; 46(23): 528-531.


(Copyright © 1997, (in public domain), Publisher U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)






During July 2-8, 1996, high maximum daily temperatures in Dallas County, Texas, ranged from 101 F (38.3 C) to 106 F (41.1 C), and high maximum daily heat indexes (a measure of the effect of combined elements [e.g., heat and humidity] on the body) ranged from 105 F (40.6 C) to 112 F (44.4 C). Although guidelines for issuing heat advisories or warnings vary by geographic location and climate, the National Weather Service generally suggests issuing a heat advisory when a daytime heat index reaches > or =105 F (> or =40.6 C), and a night time minimum ambient temperature of 80 F (26.7 C) persists for at least 48 hours. In Dallas County, the criterion used by the medical examiner's (ME's) office to designate a heat wave is > or =3 consecutive days of temperatures > or =100 F (37.8 C). This report describes four cases of heat-related death in Dallas, Wichita, and Cooke counties, Texas, in 1996; summarizes risk factors for this problem; and reviews measures to prevent heat-related morbidity and mortality. The findings in this report indicate that, although a large proportion of heat-related deaths occur during the summer and during heat waves, such deaths occur year-round.


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