Maricopa County reports first heat-related death of 2016

Posted at 3:42 PM, Jun 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-15 08:17:12-04

The Maricopa County Public Health confirmed the first heat-related death of 2016.

The Tuesday announcement said the victim was an older woman, who was otherwise healthy. She was found in the backyard of her home earlier this month. 

“This is a sad reminder about how seriously we need to take our heat here in the desert,” Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine, medical director for the Disease Control Division at Maricopa County Department of Public Health, said. “Even being outdoors less than an hour can cause serious heat-related illness, especially among the most vulnerable populations, such as the elderly.”

The victim’s identity was not released.

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Health officials are urging Maricopa County residents to stay hydrated and indoors (with air conditioning) when temperatures are high.

Also, anyone who may show symptoms of heat related-illness, like muscle cramps, headaches, vomiting, confusion and rapid heart rate are urged to seek medical care immediately.