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Heat Advisory still in effect: Heat stroke and heat exhaustion explained

Posted at 10:43 PM, Jul 02, 2024

OPELOUSAS — It's no secret it's hot, but that did not stop some people from going to South City Park on Tuesday. However, they didn't stay for too long. The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory Tuesday morning, lasting into the late afternoon, and warned about heat-related illness.

"Last year, we were living in Florida, and this is my first summer living here, and it's hot," said Maryam Tehrani.

Tehrani is new to Louisiana, even though she has lived in other places with a warm climate. Around noon, Tehrani took some time to bring her three-year-old daughter to the park, but they would not be out for long.

"We will be out here for maybe 20 more minutes, but not much more because it's too hot," said Tehrani.

Brett Henderson and his family stayed tucked under the shade and away from the sun and shared how they keep cool.

"We stay hydrated and get as much AC as possible," said Henderson.

KATC spoke to Nicole Lavergne, a nurse practitioner with Our Lady of Lourdes, about the difference between heat stroke and heat exhaustion.

Nurse practitioner Lavergne says heat stroke is the most severe heat-related illness. It occurs when the body's temperature is no longer stable and becomes out of control, preventing it from cooling down.

"Heat stroke is a form of heat-related illness and is the most severe. Heat exhaustion is a lesser form of the illness, but the stroke is the most severe, and it is considered a medical emergency," said Lavergne.

Lavernge says there is a difference between the two in terms of symptoms.

"With heat stroke, the symptoms will be a little more severe. You will have a high body temperature, and you will not be sweating as much even though you are in a situation where you should be sweating. You also have an altered mental status, behavior, and vomiting," said Lavernge.

She says heat exhaustion is a milder heat-related illness.

"It's not a life-threatening condition. However, if you don't treat it, it indeed progresses to heat stroke. Some of the symptoms of heat exhaustion include heavy sweating, weakness, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, and high blood pressure," said Lavergne.

Lavergne says that if you experience any of the symptoms, it's important to listen to your body.

"If you witness someone experiencing some of the symptoms, you should know to call 911 if you can't get them to a place where they can receive emergency treatment," said Lavergne.

Click here to read more about heat-related illness and what to look out for.