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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
    The Honourable Steven Miles

    Heatwave brings increased health risks to Queenslanders

    Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
    The Honourable Steven Miles

    Friday, February 09, 2018

    Heatwave brings increased health risks to Queenslanders

    Queenslanders should take precautions against dehydration and other heat-related conditions as a severe heatwave is set to hit Queensland this weekend and into next week.

    Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles said anybody could be at risk of falling ill as a result of the severe heatwave but warned infants, the elderly, pregnant and breastfeeding women, obese people and people with some pre-existing medical conditions were particularly vulnerable.

    “Heat-related illnesses range from mild conditions such as heat rash or muscle cramps, through to heat stroke, which can be life-threating,”Minister Miles said.

    “Symptoms may vary from person to person, but it’s important to be aware of the various warning signs such as headaches, nausea, dizziness or fainting, weakness, irritability, thirst and heavy sweating.”

    Minister Miles said people who developed more serious symptoms as a result of the hot weather, such as an elevated body temperature, flushed dry skin, a rapid pulse, headache, disorientation or loss of consciousness, needed urgent treatment.

    “If you suspected someone is suffering a heat-related illness seek help immediately by calling Triple Zero (000),” he said.

    “In December last year, we saw more than 140 heat related presentations to Emergency Departments across the state, which shows just how dangerous the hot weather can be.”

    Minister Miles said Queenslanders should plan ahead and take the necessary precautions to stay safe during the heatwave by:

    • Drinking plenty of fluids, preferably cool water, regularly throughout the day – don’t wait until you’re thirsty
    • Staying indoors when possible, preferably in a building with air-conditioning or good air flow
    • Limiting strenuous outdoor activity and taking time to adjust to the temperature
    • Staying cool by taking cool showers, soaking feet in water or wearing a wet bandana or washer around your neck, and
    • Checking the colour of your urine to ensure you are well-hydrated – it should be clear to light straw-coloured, not dark or gold.

    Minister Miles said Queensland Health had in place a well-practiced plan to respond to the heatwave and was working closely with the Bureau of Meteorology to identify the regions most at risk.

    “Queensland Health will scale its activities accordingly and provide advice and resources to best support Queensland Ambulance Service and local Hospital and Health Services in affected regions,” Minister Miles said.

    ENDS

    Media contact: Katharine Wright 0422 580 342