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Quintana Roo health officials warning residents of dangerous daytime temperatures after two die

Riviera Maya, Q.R. — Two people have died and three more remain hospitalized due to heat stroke. After a second week of 40C temperatures, state health officials are cautioning residents about being outside.

Flavio Carlos Rosado, the State Secretary of Health, said the two deaths happened in Playa del Carmen last week due to the extreme temperatures. Students across the state are being kept indoors as much as possible and all strenous outdoor activites have been canceled.

He reported that the most affected by the hot temperatures are young children and the elderly.

“We must be preventive, have clothing that protects us from the sun, avoid being exposed to the sun during the hottest hours from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., have good ventilation and stay hydrated,” he said.

Health authorities around the state are recommending people take extreme precautions since some Riviera Maya temperatures have already exceeded 40C (104F) this year. On Friday, Rosado explained that the hot season of 2023 began March 19 and will carry thorough until the beginning of October.

Cancun Doctor José Daniel Sánchez Viveros explained that “Heat stroke is sometimes difficult to diagnose because it does not always appear immediately. Human beings can present these symptoms days or even one or two weeks after exposure to the sun… it can be very serious, it can cause neurological alterations, confusion, lethargy and even organ dysfunction.”

“As long as the patient remains well hydrated, the human body has the capacity to handle these heat loads because the hydration, perspiration and circulation that we have in our body. The problem is when the patients are elderly or pediatric, especially under five years of age, since they do not have the same capacity to handle it,” he added.

In Puerto Morelos, doctors have reported a 20 percent increase in stomach issues. Sara Nohemí Rodríguez Torres, the General Directorate of Health of Puerto Morelos said that “Fortunately we do not have a record of any patient with heat stroke, but in terms of gastrointestinal diseases, there is an increase of 20 percent in the municipality due to the rapidity in the decomposition of food.”

The State Secretary of Health says Quintana Roo ranks fourth in the country with heat-related illnesses with 5.5 percent of Mexico’s cases.

In Quintana Roo, 23 people have entered hospitals with heat-related medical problems. Ten were for heat stroke and 13 were for extreme sunburns. Of those, 16 patients were admitted in Cancun, three in Playa del Carmen, three in Tulum and one in Bacalar.