Suspected heatstroke patients surge in Japan

NHK -- Jul 28
More than 8,100 people were taken to hospitals across Japan with apparent heatstroke last week. The number was nearly twice as high as the week before.

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency says 8,122 people were taken to hospitals between July 19 and 25, up 80 percent from 4,510 the previous week.

The agency reported 23 deaths. It also said 3,060 people were hospitalized with serious or moderate symptoms and 4,900 people had minor symptoms.

Over half of all patients were 65 or older, while 2,627 were between 18 and 64 years old. There were 781 people between seven and 17, and 74 under the age of seven.

Most of the patients, or 3,437, developed symptoms at home. Another 1,496 were rushed to hospital from roads including pedestrian sidewalks, and 887 fell ill at workplaces such as factories and farms.

The meteorological agency forecasts temperatures of 35 degrees Celsius or higher in northern to western Japan over the coming two weeks.

Authorities are advising people to use air conditioning before it gets hot. They say coolers should be turned on when the temperature reaches 28 degrees, or humidity hits 70 percent.

Doctor Miyake Yasufumi of Teikyo University Hospital's Trauma and Resuscitation Center says people should use thermometers and hygrometers to monitor actual room conditions instead of relying on preset thermostats. - NHK