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Excessive heat taking toll on health in region

Robert Gidney wipes away sweat while working in Palisades Interstate Park in Ft. Lee, N.J., Monday, July 2, 2018. The National Weather Service has most of New Jersey state under an excessive heat warning or heat advisory, with heat indices predicted to top 100 degrees.

Robert Gidney wipes away sweat while working in Palisades Interstate Park in Ft. Lee, N.J., Monday, July 2, 2018. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

The heat wave the region is sweltering through looks like it will continue through Friday.

Excessive heat warnings have been posted throughout the region. Actual temperatures are expected to continue in the 90s through Thursday. On Tuesday, the heat and humidity combined to make it feel like 107 in New Jersey and Southeastern Pennsylvania.

The above-normal temperatures are resulting in cases of dehydration that can develop into heat exhaustion and heat stroke, said Dr. Brad Pulver, the medical director of the emergency department at Ocean Medical Center in Brick, New Jersey.

“When you go out, you must wear sunblock and reapply it. You have to drink lots of fluids and stay well hydrated,” he said. “And pay attention to how you’re feeling. At the first hint that you’re just not perfectly well, you’ve got to get out of that sun.”

Pulver said it’s important to heed warning signs.

“You’re already getting into trouble if you’re starting to feel nausea and very thirsty and then weak and lightheaded,” he said. “Those are some of the initial symptoms, and that means that dehydration, heat exhaustion, is already progressing.”

If drinking lots of fluids doesn’t provide relief and you start feeling confused or have other worsening symptoms, Pulver advised going to an emergency room for treatment.

The best way to avoid problems during the hot weather is to modify your behavior by limiting exposure to the sun and avoiding strenuous activities, he said.

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