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PAHO urges to reinforce health capacities to face heat waves

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PAHO urges to reinforce health capacities to face heat waves

Washington, Jan 22 (Prensa Latina) The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) called on this region's countries to strengthen their health capacities due to a very scorching summer south of the equator.
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Although extreme temperatures are not as destructive as natural threats, such as hurricanes or sudden floods, they cause mortality and morbidity without immediate evidence, according to a statement issued by this organization.

It reported that phenomenon affected Europe in the summer of 2003 and killed 70,000 people and alerted over the increase in the frequency, duration and scale in the past few years of conditions that cause dermatitis such as edemas, burns, sunstroke, cramps, syncope and others.

The number of people exposed to heat waves between 2000 and 2016 climbed by nearly 125 million, and, in the last decade, this figure increased by 175 million compared to the average of the previous one, according to PAHO.

During the summer of 2018-2019, seven nations (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Mexico, in the northern part of this hemisphere) were affected, something never seen in the Americas.

To PAHO, the negative impacts of these phenomena can be predicted and prevented through public health plans of action and also the strengthening of the capacities of meteorological services.

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