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3,179 people taken to hospital for heatstroke July 14-20

34 Comments

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said Wednesday that 3,179 people were taken to hospitals nationwide to be treated for heatstroke between July 14 and July 20. The figure was about 700 more than the previous week, TV Asahi reported.

Of the total number, 1,478 were aged 65 and older, three of whom died, the agency said. Sixty-one required hospitalization, the agency said.

Temperatures soared across much of the nation as the rainy season ended.

Health officials say heatstroke affects a lot of people just after the rainy season ends because their bodies are not yet accustomed to the heat. They recommend light exercise such as walking, drinking plenty of water, sleeping on a wet pillow case and using the air conditioner, if necessary.

Last year, more than 50,000 people were taken to hospital to be treated for heatstroke between May and September, according to the Fire and Disaster Management Agency.

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34 Comments
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The only time I DON'T use my AC is when I leave the house. And even then I'm on the fence, because it takes a good hour to cool things off when I get back home. DAMN it's hot.

I've been drinking water like CRAZY!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Sleep on a wet pillow case? What?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

As someone who has lived and worked in the Middle East for a few years where the summer temperature hits 50 deg C I find this very odd indeed. I don't remember anyone there being carted off to hospital with heatstroke.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Sleep with a wet pillow case. yep. Call in "hot". Don't go to work. Boycot summer. Something must be done! Free home-delivery ice ! uh huh!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Harry Gatto

The incidence of heat related health conditions is relatively low in United Kingdom. There are around 40 cases of heat-related deaths per million population per year.

The risk rises in hotter countries, for example, it is high among periods of time such as Hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia. In Saudi Arabia, the incidence of heat stroke varies seasonally, from 22 to 250 cases per 100,000 population.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Nobody ever heard of "Ice-Non" ? It's a kind of "ice-pillow". You won't need a "wet" pillow case, just a thin towel around it and use it as a pillow. It's great for pets too ! My dog "swore" by his little "Ice-Non" mattress ! (The fridges are all working anyway ! Just pop enough "Ice-Non" for each "animal" - human or otherwise - in the freezer !)

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Fighting -

Shame on you for teaching your dog to swear! tee hee

My previous dog taught me to swear when I bought her a beautiful 'water bed' - it had a sponge interior, covered in plastic, and a little cap for pouring cold water into. It was lovely and cool, until she chewed the cap off and we had water and bits of mangled sponge all over the bedroom floor.

Ice-non is great, but make sure you don't give it to a chewer! No way my Shiba is getting one. Just as well he's acclimatised.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This is ridiculous. Just use the sodding aircon.

My electricity bill is around 4000yen a month for the year, apart from in summer when, it leaps to around 9000yen a month, when I have the aircon on pretty much constantly. The 5000yen extra a month to keep me cool and not having to deal with the insane temperature outside is money well spent. 5000yen over the space of a month, is about 166 yen per day. That is the price of a 7-11 Mitsuya Cider or whatever, per day. How people can not foresee every single year that it will be brutally hot in summer and take the necessary steps to prevent discomfort and in these cases actual death, is beyond me. I suppose though, if you are the kind of idiot that lets yourself get heatstroke despite living your entire long Japanese life in these conditions, then it might be a bit much to ask for anything approaching sense, however...

5 ( +8 / -3 )

I sleep on a damp pillow case every night when it is really hot. It helps me to drop off to sleep much faster.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Sleeping on a wet pillow case?!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

There are so many people for just heatstroke. Japanese seem to be physically weaker people.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The 5000yen extra a month to keep me cool and not having to deal with the insane temperature outside is money well spent. 5000yen over the space of a month, is about 166 yen per day.

I agree with you, TheInterstat. Those of us who can afford this its a no-brainer for. Sadly, so many millions of Japanese - particularly the vulnerable such as old people - cannot cough up this sort of cash. Huge numbers of Japanese are living on struggle street nowadays and have to resort to staying in shopping and community centres on sweltering days to keep cool.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

It's not the heat, specifically....it's the high humidity remaining after rainy season, combined with the rapidly climbing temperature. There is always a spike in heat stroke cases at this time of year, rather than when midsummer temperatures are highest (but stable, and with lower humidity).

3 ( +3 / -0 )

As someone who has lived and worked in the Middle East for a few years where the summer temperature hits 50 deg C I find this very odd indeed.

I guess most of the Middle East is quite dry. Humidity plays a significant role in causing heatstroke, even at lower temperatures. High humidity prevents sweat from evaporating from the skin - effectively shutting down the body's prime cooling mechanism.

7 ( +6 / -0 )

Time to fire up those nuclear reactors people and cool the populace!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

@TheInterstat

This is ridiculous. Just use the sodding aircon.

My electricity bill is around 4000yen a month for the year, apart from in summer when, it leaps to around 9000yen a month

Where do you live ??? I'm moving there instantly ! Our bill comes to 15 000 yen with "minimal use" of the air-conditioner...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sleep on a wet pillow case.

This advice brought to you from the 1840's. Or a teenage boy.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Goals0 - The Haj is outside my experience, they wouldn't let me in there (or any other non-Muslims).

@zorken - You have obviously not been there, the humidity is very high, especially in coastal areas where most cities (except Riyadh) are.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@cleo

It was lovely and cool, until she chewed the cap

It's much more difficult to "chew off" a zip-fastener ! You should try the "Ice-Non Pet mattress" !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A shaved ice and a cold drink would be something to consider during summer. Anyway I find it odd that some old people (especially old guys) likes to wear thick clothes during summer. Some people in Nagoya might think I dress a little too exposed but since I'm from a country which has an all-year summer, I'm used to wearing lesser clothes. During this season, it is good to wear shorts and a bright color shirt.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

FightingVikingJUL. 23, 2014 - 06:57PM JST Nobody ever heard of "Ice-Non" ? It's a kind of "ice-pillow".

Hell, I thought the Japanese invented this. The one we have is from Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

They recommend light exercise such as walking, drinking plenty of water, sleeping on a wet pillow case and using the air conditioner, if necessary.

... This is why people are dying.

Walking - The type of exercise isn't important. What is important is where and when you do it. You can do jumping jacks if you like, provided that you do them early in the morning or late at night. Or better yet in an airconditioned gym. They key point is to stay out of the sun from about 11am to 4pm.

Drinking plenty of water - Again, bad advice. Drinking "plenty" of water will result in your electrolyte balance going off, which means much bigger problems. A liter of water, a teaspoon of salt, a teaspoon of sugar and you'd be much better off.

Wet pillow case - ... umm if you want fungal infections of the inner ear, sure this is a peachy idea, not to mention the other problems it could cause. What genius thought up this idea?

Using the air conditioner .... if necessary - It is 38 degrees around noon where I am, and it is definitely "necessary" to have the air conditioner on at all times. Oh, and don't wait to turn it on when it gets hot. Turn it on and keep it on. Once the room gets down to the right temperature the air conditioner will go into a power-saving mode. This means that the longer you run it the lower the cost. Turning it on at 1pm and trying to cool the room from 38 degrees to 26 degrees, then turning it off again, is MUCH more expensive in terms of watts than cooling the room from 28 degrees to 26 degrees at 3am and then using whatever insulation you can scrape together to keep the room that temperature (think like you would in winter, insulate!) all day.
4 ( +4 / -0 )

I never will understand why Japanese houses are neither properly insulated nor centrally heated and cooled. I read in a health article that you should sleep with a room temperature below 65 F or 18 C not that I do that but I can. My home stays at 78 F or 18 C even when the outside temperature is 112 F or 44 C. It does cost but it's only for a few months. Never understood the slow adoption of A/C in Japan. But then Japan doesn't have grounding of electricity nor is there a uniform electric supply. It is insane that 1/2 of Japan is on 100 V / 60 Hz and the other half is on 100 V / 50 Hz. I would love to build a modular home from Norway and power with wind, solar, and maybe geo and live off the grid. With geo, I can even have my own onsen.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Another sad statistic proving there is little public health education. sigh

2 ( +4 / -2 )

My Japanese neighborhood lacks shade, because the very few trees are small and aggressively pruned, and the Japanese covet sunshine to dry their laundry. The result is that the place heats up drastically during the afternoons, and the pedestrians look like they're being beaten up just by walking down the street.

All the houses are also south facing, creating a wicked green house effect indoors. No wonder everyone gets so dehydrated.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@kwatt no it is more a lack of common sense IMHO, seeing joggers run during noon, sport festivals in the blazing sun! During this heat you must take it easy avoid the sun and what Frungy said.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@BurakuminDes; this is by the very evidence of the news reports, a matter of life and death; an extra 200yen a day max, to be comfortable and not potentially die. I fail to accept that any person in a rich country like Japan can not afford 200 yen a day extra to not die. If they are that close to the edge, then their problems are stupidity of money management more than anything.

I am speculating wildly here, but speaking from my lengthy experience of all kinds of people on the earth, the ones right on the poverty line in rich countries still manage to find the cash for cigarettes and alcohol on a daily basis... not everyone of course, but you know I am right.

@fightingViking; haha, well yeah, I do live alone, rather than with a whole family, so that would explain the bill I have.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Yes, use the aircon, we set ours on dry and at 25 and dress light, works fine. On cooler evenings, all windows open, we get an excellent breeze. Going out? Drink water. Stay cool. Take rests when outside.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@TheInterstat

@fightingViking; haha, well yeah, I do live alone, rather than with a whole family, so that would explain the bill I have

Well I'm also living alone since my son is out working from morning to night so - WHERE DO YOU LIVE ??? (Really somewhere in Japan ?).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@FightingViking; yeah, I live on the edge of Tokyo. Standard 2012 built 3LDK apartment with slippery fake wooden floors, and a washlet toilet. You know the deal. Aircon, desktop PC, TV, PS3, lights. Normal electric bill is between 4-5000yen. Summer is about 9000yen.

What size place are you living in that is standardly around 15000yen a month for electricity and what do you have running in there?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Our power bill is ¥8,000/month which goes up to about ¥12,000 during summer peak but gas drops a couple of thousand because we don't take hot baths and cook hot food less? We use fans and ac even during the day. We do live in a 10 plus room house so we happy with the cost of utilities and especially since we pay less than 25% of the rent in Tokyo. Water is expensive here in Kobe and that too increases during summer peak, as does the beer and ice cream supplies.

I would rather pay additional costs for the ac than the medical bills if we are hospitalised!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I just asked my accountant (read: wife), and our electricity bill ranges from 10,000 - 15,000, depending on the month. Lower in spring and fall, in the middle in winter, and highest in summer.

I'm more than willing to pay the additional money to use the aircon. I don't like being uncomfortable in my skin.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What people don't realize that is that coupled with the insane heat is the equally insane humidity which makes it even hotter.

@kwatt your comment on the Japanese being physically weaker has no validity.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@TheInterstat

Well, we live on the outskirts of Yokohama in a small independent house and I try to mostly use only the electric fan but sometimes it's just not enough... The house itself is still fairly new and well insulated but, as others have mentioned, it's especially the humidity that becomes unbearable.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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