Two people have been treated for heat exhaustion at Dubbo Hospital since Christmas Eve.
On Friday NSW Health reported of “marked increases” in Emergency Department presentations across the state resulting from heat-related illness.
The Western NSW Local Health District has joined NSW Health in urging people to limit their exposure to heat and drink plenty of water as temperatures begin to rise again.
Tuesday’s forecast high of 35 degrees Celsius is expected to climb to 39 degrees by Sunday.
“It’s important to keep up water intake, stay cool and avoid strenuous physical activity in the heat of the day,” a health district spokeswoman said. “Heat places a lot of strain on the body and can cause dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke.”
The spokeswoman also called on residents to be good neighbours. “It’s also very important to be aware of vulnerable members of the community like the elderly, infants and children, people with a chronic medical condition and those who live alone,” she said.
“During hot weather, it’s important to stay in regular contact with elderly neighbours, friends and relatives, because helping them do basic chores to keep them out of the heat could make a life-saving difference.”
Early symptoms of heat-related illness can include faintness and dizziness, irritability, thirst, dark urine and headaches.
Changes in skin colour, a rapid pulse and shallow breathing, vomiting and confusion may follow.
“It’s important to drink plenty of water and quickly cool down if symptoms occur,” the health district spokeswoman said. “People showing severe signs of heat-related illness should seek urgent medical attention.”
More information can be found at www.health.nsw.gov.au/environment/beattheheat, including what to do “after the heat has passed”.
The Bureau of Meteorology’s seven-day forecast for Dubbo as of Tuesday suggests it will be sticking around for another week. A predicted 35 degrees Celsius on Tuesday was expected to climb to 39 degrees by Sunday.
The average top temperature in Dubbo during the month of January is 33.3 degrees. Dubbo has experienced above-average temperatures since Christmas Day including 40.4 degrees Celsius on January 2 and 39.9 degrees on January 4.
The city’s 14-day heatwave as of Monday includes seven days when the daytime temperature has reached or exceeded 39 degrees. Hundreds of people have been flocking to Dubbo Aquatic Leisure Centre for relief from the heat.