[Hpn] 11 Persons In Phoenix Die Of Heat-Related Ailments As Temps Soar

William Charles Tinker wtinker@metrocast.net
Tue, 19 Jul 2005 18:42:39 -0400


11 people in Phoenix die of heat-related ailments as temps soar


By Michelle Roberts
ASSOCIATED PRESS

July 19, 2005

PHOENIX - The number of heat-related deaths in Phoenix continued to climb
Tuesday, reaching 11, as above-average temperatures kept sweating the city.
Phoenix police reported 11 people have died of apparent heat-related
ailments since Saturday. Nine were homeless; the other two were elderly
women, including one whose home cooling system wasn't on.
By comparison, the Arizona Department of Health Services documented 34
deaths because of heat-related illnesses among all Arizona residents during
all of last year. The number of illegal immigrants killed by heat-related
illnesses are counted separately.
Phoenix has endured above average temperatures every day since June 29, with
the high expected to reach 112 degrees on Tuesday. Even during the coolest
part of the day, the mercury failed to drop lower than 91 degrees.
The spike in deaths prompted the mayor on Monday to ask for water donations,
and Bill Manson, development coordinator for Central Arizona Shelter
Services, said a number of companies and individuals had been donating water
and organizing drives to collect bottled water.
The water was being distributed through CASS, the state's largest
organization to aid the homeless, and through other charities and local
police, Manson said.
People were being exposed to sweltering conditions, in part because there
simply isn't enough space to go around, he said, noting that CASS can't
house more than 520 people and an estimated 8,000 homeless people live in
Maricopa County.
"There's just not near enough shelters," Manson said.
Will Humble, bureau chief for disease control at the Arizona Department of
Health Services, said while homeless people are among those at highest risk
from suffering a heat-related illness, most who die every year are people
who work outside.
"I don't want to leave people with the impression that homeless people are
the only people at risk," he said.
Those doing strenuous activity outside can use up to a gallon of water an
hour and often also risk depletion of electrolytes, particularly sodium and
potassium, even if they are consuming water.
Even those sitting still in the shade need a liter or two an hour, Humble
said.
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 On the Net:
Arizona Department of Health Services:  www.azdhs.gov/
Central Arizona Shelter Services: www.cass-az.org/


 Copyright 2005 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.