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National Weather Service Issues Excessive Heat Watch

An Excessive Heat Watch has been issued for south central and most of southeast Wisconsin for Thursday into Friday.

The National Weather Service noted that the last time we've had an Excessive Heat Warning issued for the area was back on July 3-7, 2012!

"It's been awhile since we've had the potential for heat of this magnitude,” the agency's post read.

According to the Wisconsin Medical Society,  the hottest year on record for the contiguous United States was 2012.

July 2012 ranked as Wisconsin’s fourth warmest July, which has profound implications for heat-related mortality.

There were  27 heat-related fatalities in Wisconsin during summer 2012.

The deaths occurred in both cities and rural counties.

All cases had 1 or more known risk factors: 100% lacked functioning residential air conditioning; 70% were over age 65; 75% had a cardiovascular disease; and 52% had a mental health condition.

"Of the 14 cases with a mental health condition, half were known to be taking psychotropic medication. None of the decedents had been in air conditioning immediately prior to death, and 8 (36%) had been using fans," said a report by Megan L. Christenson, MS, MPH; Sarah Dee Geiger, PhD, MS; Henry A. Anderson, MD.

The doctors came to the conclusion that air conditioning is the strong protective factor in preventing heath related deaths and that fans did not provide significant protection.

They also noted that many of the victims were isolated and it serves as a reminder to check on elderly neighbors and friends.

Patients on psychotropic medications were also at a greater risk.

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