Thursday, June 23, 2016

Hikers dropping like flies in record US heat wave

At least five heat-related fatalities have been reported in Arizona alone since Friday.

The human body isn’t made to withstand extreme heat, and heat stroke can occur when the body temperature exceeds 40 degrees. The early signs: throbbing headache, dizziness, muscle cramps, nausea, disorientation and lack of sweating. Heat exhaustion almost always results in death in a matter of hours if not treated immediately.
Dehydration plays a major factor in death. A body loses about a liter of water each hour while hiking. That number is more than doubled in hot weather. The human body cannot absorb water nearly that quickly, so it’s nearly impossible to replace it even if a hiker is carrying enough.

In other words, each hour, the body can lose 2 liters of water but only replace .5 liters, leaving the body at a 1.5-liter deficit of water each hour.

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