The Regional Ministry of Health of the Principality of Asturias has activated alert level 2 (medium risk) of the National Plan of Preventive Actions on the Effects of Excessive Temperatures on Health 2023, in view of the forecasts of the State Meteorological Agency (Aemet), which establish maximum temperatures for today that will exceed 26 degrees. Specifically for this day it will reach 31.8 degrees.
The health authorities are advising the entire population to protect themselves from solar radiation, to hydrate themselves and to avoid drinking alcoholic beverages. In addition, they insist on the protection of the population most vulnerable to the heat, that is, those who suffer from chronic illnesses or who work outdoors, and children.
They also recommend keeping food cold, as the heat increases the risk of food-borne infections.
The General Directorate of Public Health has already sent the documentation to health centres, the Regional Ministry of Social Rights and Welfare and the Asturian Federation of Councils (FACC), which includes the following health recommendations in this situation of high temperatures:
- Drink water and liquids frequently, even if you do not feel thirsty and regardless of your physical activity.
- Avoid caffeinated, alcoholic or very sugary drinks, as they can promote dehydration.
- Although anyone can suffer from a heat-related problem, pay special attention to babies and children, infants and pregnant women, as well as elderly people or people with illnesses that can be aggravated by heat (such as heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, cancer, pathologies that hinder mobility, dementia and other mental illnesses, as well as drug or alcohol abuse).
- Stay as long as possible in cool, shaded or air-conditioned places, and cool down whenever you need to.
- Try to reduce physical activity and avoid outdoor sports in the middle of the day.
Wear light, loose-fitting, breathable clothing.
- Never leave anyone in a parked and locked vehicle (especially minors, elderly or chronically ill people).
- Consult your health care professional for symptoms that last more than one hour and that may be related to high temperatures.
- Keep your medicines in a cool place; heat can alter their composition and effects.
Eat light meals to help replenish salts lost through sweating (salads, fruit, vegetables, juices, etc.).
National Heat Action Plan 2023
The National Plan of Preventive Actions against the Effects of Excessive Temperatures on Health is activated every summer between May and September and includes, among other measures, the publication of a weekly report on the risk situation on the website of the Ministry of Health
The health authorities monitor daily temperatures and weather forecasts five days in advance from the State Meteorological Agency, and monitor mortality during this period. This plan aims to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with high temperatures, as it has been observed that three or more consecutive days of unusually high temperatures can be accompanied by an increase in these figures.
The alert levels are assigned taking into account the thresholds established for the Principality, which place maximum temperatures at 26 degrees Celsius.