July 19, 2012

News Release

For Immediate Release

Cooling Centers Open Through Weekend

A National Weather Service heat advisory has been issued and is expected to last through 7 p.m. Sunday. The following locations continue to serve as public cooling centers during each building's normal business hours:

Cooling centers are open to the public and meant to provide relief for those who otherwise do not have access to an air-conditioned environment. In addition, City Utilities is offering free bus rides to accommodate those who may need transportation around Springfield to the centers located along city bus routes.

The Springfield-Greene County Health Department urges residents to take steps to protect against heat-related illnesses. These illnesses, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke, occur when the body's temperature control system is overloaded. Children, senior adults and people with chronic illness are at highest risk. So far this summer season, the department has tracked 113 reported cases of heat-related illnesses through July 18 at local hospitals and emergency rooms.

Heat exhaustion is the most common heat-related illness and can lead to dehydration. Symptoms include heavy sweating, paleness, tiredness, muscle cramps, weakness, dizziness or fainting, headache, nausea or vomiting. A person with these symptoms should move to a cool spot, rest and drink cool water. If symptoms worsen or last longer than an hour, they should seek medical attention.

Heat stroke occurs when the body's temperature climbs to 104°F. It can be deadly. Call 9-1-1 immediately if a person has symptoms including a high body temperature, red, hot or dry skin, rapid pulse, throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea, confusion or unconsciousness.

Tips to protect against heat-related illness can be found online at: http://health.springfieldmo.gov/heat.

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Harold K. Bengsch Building

227 E. Chestnut Expwy. • Springfield, MO 65802
417-864-1658 • health.springfieldmo.gov