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Man found deceased inside car is first heat-related death of 2019

Posted at 11:57 AM, Jun 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-05 16:53:27-04

PHOENIX — A man who was found dead inside a vehicle is the first confirmed heat-related death in Maricopa County in 2019, according to the Maricopa County Department of Health.

According to a release, the man was without housing and dehydrated in the car.

“This is a sad reminder about how seriously we need to take our heat here in the desert,” said Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine, medical director for Disease Control at Maricopa County Department of Public Health. “Even when temperatures aren’t as high as we see in late summer, temperatures in the 80s and 90s can still lead to dehydration and be very dangerous. This is especially true for our most vulnerable populations, such as seniors and people without shelter.”

The name and age of the person found dead have not been released.

According to the CDC, heat is the number one cause of death out of all natural disasters in the U.S.

Last year, 182 heat-associated deaths occurred in Maricopa County due to exposure to environmental heat. This is the highest number of heat-associated deaths on record for Maricopa County.

RELATED: Heat-relief stations in the Valley in 2019

These common-sense practices released by the Dept. of Health are aimed at keeping you safe and healthy during the summer, including:

  • Drink water before you get thirsty to prevent dehydration
  • Don’t rely on fans as your primary source of cooling
  • Come indoors frequently to an air-conditioned location to cool your core body temperature
  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat, sunscreen, and lightweight clothes
  • Never leave kids, pets, and others who may rely on you inside of a parked car
  • Check on friends and neighbors, especially the elderly, to ensure sufficient cooling and supplies
  • Seek medical care immediately if you have, or someone you know has, symptoms of heat-associated illness like muscle cramps, headaches, vomiting, confusion, no longer sweating, and rapid heart rate

For heat relief resources, statistics, and information on how heat affects vulnerable populations, please visit [].