Heat wave sears Pakistan, mercury shoots up to 51°C in Jacobabad

KARACHI (PAKISTAN): Heat wave in Pakistan causes major health crisis with mercury reaching 51° Celsius in Jacobabad, Sindh on Saturday.
Citing The News, Geo News reported that numerous cases of acute kidney injury (AKI) caused by heat stroke, acute water diarrhea and gastroenteritis have been reported from across the country, especially Sindh and Punjab, as extremely hot weather scorches these areas.
Residents said extended droughts and the unavailability of clean water are forcing people to drink contaminated water to beat the heat.
Unconfirmed reports suggest that at least three people died of acute water diarrhea in a remote area of ​​Sindh, Kaccha, in Dadu when temperatures rose to 49° Celsius, Geo News reported.
dr. Rahim Bux Bhatti, director of the Gambat Institute of Medical Sciences (GIMS), said patients with AKI, acute gastroenteritis and other symptoms of heatstroke due to prolonged sun exposure are being taken to their heatstroke camp.
“The entire area has been gripped by an intense heat wave in recent days,” he told The News.
Director General of Health, Sindh, Dr. Jumman Bahoto, said there had been some ‘confirmed’ reports of deaths and illnesses from heatstroke and waterborne illness in some towns and villages of the province, which are currently experiencing an intense heat wave, adding that he had called on all District Health Officers (DHOs) ordered to collect data and set up heat stroke camps in their jurisdiction, Geo News reported.
“An increase in cases of acute watery diarrhea and other waterborne illnesses is being reported from the remote areas of Dadu, while some cases of heatstroke have also been reported as temperatures have risen to 51° Celsius in some parts of the province. We have issued guidelines to the health authorities to set up heat stroke camps, provide clean drinking water and ORS to patients and provide them with timely medical treatment,” added DG Health Sindh.
As daytime temperatures became unbearable in many cities of Punjab, health authorities said many traffic wardens and ordinary people exposed to sunlight in Lahore suffered acute kidney injury due to dehydration. They were taken for treatment to various health centers in the city, including Jinnah Hospital Lahore.
“Dozens of people, especially traffic wardens in Lahore, fainted from dehydration from prolonged exposure to sunlight in the intense heat and were transferred to various hospitals. We have decided to distribute umbrellas and information brochures to the people of Lahore to prevent them from being permanently injured. disability and death due to heat stroke,” said eminent physician and vice chancellor of University of Health Sciences (UHS) Lahore Prof Javed Akram.
The National Institute of Health (NIH), Islamabad, also warned of an increase in cases of heatstroke and waterborne illness due to extremely high temperatures in various parts of the country, saying that heatstroke is a medical emergency and fatal if not managed correctly, Geo News reported.
“A dehydrated person may not be able to sweat fast enough to dissipate heat, which also raises body temperature. Common signs and symptoms of heat stroke include warm and dry skin or profuse sweating with hot red or ruddy dry skin, weakness/lethargy , throbbing headache, increased body temperature, irritability, dizziness, decreased urine output, heat rash (red cluster of pimples or small blisters),’ said an advisory from the NIH in the wake of the intense heat wave.
The advisory further warned that heatstroke can cause death or organ damage or disability if not treated appropriately in time, adding that infants, the elderly over 65, diabetics, hypertensives, athletes and outdoor workers are at high risk of developing a sunstroke.
On the other hand, Pakistan’s Meteorological Department (PMD) said temperatures remained 50°C or higher in three cities of Sindh, including Jacobabad, which recorded 51°C on Saturday, while in Nawabshah (Shaheed Benazirabad) 50.5°C. was registered and in Moenjo Daro 50°C was measured on Saturday.
“Most parts of the country are likely to remain in the throes of heat wave-like conditions for the next week. However, light relief is expected in most parts of the country from the evening or night of May 14-17, 2022, i.e. mainly if Due to dust storms/gusts, rain-thunderstorms in scattered places in most parts of the country in the afternoon and evening/night. Daytime temperatures are likely to rise again from May 18, 2022,” an advisory released by the PMD said.

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