According to the Washington State Department of Health, at least 78 deaths in our state are attributed to the record-setting heatwave we've seen since late June.

During the roughly one-week period where we saw the all-time state record of 118 tied in Tri-Cities, the heat has killed more people than all of the prior five years combined.

Between 2015 and 2020, 39 people died directly due to heat-related complications. 7 died in 2020. DOH reports deaths in 19 counties, and there have been over 2,000 emergency room visits directly related to heat so far during this stretch.

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In Kennewick, a 73-year-old woman died from hyperthermia and when EMS crews arrived in her home the indoor temp was 95 degrees. Another death occurred in Franklin County.

DOH expects those totals to climb, as a number of deaths are still being autopsied, and officials will see if heat was a directly related factor.

For now, temps are cooling a bit, but authorities say we are not out of the woods yet.

Make sure you consume plenty of water, but not all ice-cold. Sometimes ice-cold water can actually cause your body to warm a bit, because it detects the internal temp dropping and tried to heat a bit.

Also plenty of shade, and especially those with medical conditions, avoid exercising or excessive time in the sun.


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