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Common sickness during Election Day in the Philippines

Volume of people, small classrooms, lack of ventilation, lack of hydration facility and unorganized election procedure are the common scenario during election day in the Philippines. Summer of 2016 is one of the hottest period ever registered in the country, temperatures are way off the charts, bringing the threat of heat illness and heat-related afflictions.

Basically, heat illness is caused by your body’s inability to cool itself efficiently. This occurs when your sweat is no longer cooling your body to the required level. Some outside causes are hot weather, vigorous physical activity, dehydration, alcohol consumption and overdressing. Heat illness can take multiple forms, each ranging in severity. The different types of heat illness, from mildest to most dangerous, include heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. As heat illness progresses from cramps to exhaustion to stroke, the symptoms become more extreme.

Symptoms of heat cramps include:

  • Muscle cramps — usually in the hands, calves or feet

  • Heavy sweating

  • Fatigue

  • Strong thirst

  • Nausea

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include all signs of heat cramps, as well as:

  • Damp, cool skin with goose bumps when exposed to heat

  • Dizziness

  • Faintness

  • Headache

  • Low blood pressure

  • Weak, rapid pulse/heartbeat

  • Dark-colored urine

Symptoms of heat stroke include all signs of heat exhaustion, as well as:

  • Change in mental state, such as confusion and slurred speech

  • Increased body temperature

  • Hot, red, dry skin with no sweating

  • Rapid breathing

  • Vomiting or diarrhea

  • Trouble walking

  • Seizures

People who are very young or old, obese or on certain medications are most susceptible to heat illness. Various preventive measures should be undertaken to avoid heat illness. This should not prevent you to exercise your right to vote. Reminder : Vote Wisely!

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