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Coronavirus or heat-related illnesses? Doctor warns us of similar symptoms


While we deal with a heat wave and a pandemic, two main signs of heat-related illnesses are also possible symptoms of coronavirus.

Another day of the sun beating down in our valley.  

“ugh, its so hot," said Lakresha Miller.

Many trying to stay cool as we try to beat the heat.

“I just bought them some lemonade, and we are going to go to our friends house but yeah its a extremely hot," said Miller.

With temperatures in the triple digits this week, doctors are warning us of the similar symptoms you might experience with both coronavirus and a heat-related illness. 

“You can have a fever with both but with heat-related illness there’s definitely a known exposure for the heat and your temperature would go up while your in the heat and the other big symptom is fatigue," said Euthym Kontaxis M.D. Tennity Emergency Department at Eisenhower Health.

As coronavirus cases rise, Doctor Euthym Kontaxis said its important to know the differences.

“People need to realize okay, I have been overheated: let me drink some fluids, let me cool down, let put some ice on," said Kontaxis. "If I start to feel better, you can check a temperature or you may not but if you start to have any signs of confusion or you have chills or cough take a temperature, and see a physician.” 

While the heat wave is on, some are at risk for exposure.  

“The elderly for both COVID and heat-related illness are at high risk. People with kidney damage or that may have certain medications like diuretics, and the very young are at very high risk for heat related illness," said Kontaxis.

Dr. Kontaxis said during this time of year, his team treats about a couple hundred patients per day. Some cases are complicated by heat related issues so he advises.

“Keep the car in the shade, try to avoid going out in the hot part of the day, even if its in the pool, drink alot more fluid than you think you need,"said Kontaxis. "As far as COVID goes, you need to social distancing, wearing a mask, hand washing.” 

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Dani Romero


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