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35 deaths, 7,071 hospitalized due to heatstroke in one-week period

33 Comments

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said Tuesday that the number of people who were taken to hospital due to heatstroke last week marked the highest so far this summer. For the week of Aug 8-14, the agency said that 7,071 people, suffering from heatstroke, were taken to hospitals throughout the country.

Meanwhile, NHK reported that 35 people died of heatstroke during the same one-week period. Twelve of those deaths occurred at night, the network said.

Since June 1, a total of 35,436 people have been hospitalized due to heatstroke, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said that temperatures are expected to stay around the 35-degree mark nationwide until the weekend.

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33 Comments
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how long do they stay in the hospital? It appears that heatstroke victims are easily admitted (not turned down) to the hospitals unlike other emergency patients.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The J-goverment is telling people to conserve electricity, and since most elderly people are not working and they feel they are not contributing to the society, they subconciously feel more guilty if they use too much air conditioner. But they need more than the young people. It's more of life and death choice. Since hot humid summer is every year in Japan, the goverment needs to find long term solution by offering generous tax breaks for people that invest in solar panels.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I agree with Sfjp360. The jgov tells us to conserve electricity and yet its sauna hot...what is it we're suppose to do? Should we spend the whole day in air conditioned department stores??

0 ( +1 / -1 )

well - that is where i am headed, to the local mall.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Crowded places this summer include department stores, bookstores, libraries and other places with free entry, a place to sit, and air conditioning. Just the place for the coming zombie apocalypse.

Yesterday I saw an old woman working in her field - hat, gloves, mask, mompei and long-sleeved shirt - and no water in sight. At noon.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I really dont undetstand the confusion with all u people. Conserve doesnt mean turn off. It means setting the a/c at 28 instead of 23/24. I have my AC set at 26 when i first arrive home, then to 28. 28 does not give you heatstroke. Working outside. I think the j gov is blaming heatstroke instead of just saying natural causes. Afterall, autopsies are never done here. I wonder how one can distinguish between a heart attack death vs a heat stroke death?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Although this article doesn't mention it, quite a few these cases are historically - elderly people people working in their fields and vegetable plots and not taking sensible precautions. Elderly people outside in the sun, not so much those in the shade with the senpuki on.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And it's not even that hot this year... Last year was a killer, but this year's summer is pretty mild by comparison - at least where I live.

I don't really understand the reliance on air conditioners to be honest, at least not for people sitting at home all day. Have a cool shower in the morning and one in the afternoon, drink lots of fluids, put one of those ice things around your neck and you'll be fine. It's really not that hard to stay cool and conserve energy.

What really wears me out is the sudden temperature changes when walking out of an air conditioned room into the muggy heat.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm used to it !!!! Hawaii, Guam and Florida has more humidity than Japan. Do yard work in the morning or after 6pm.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

at my working place, we has AC on gas, which consumes a minimal amount of electricity. Of course, solar panel would be ideal (we're working on that), but at the moment gas is a nice alternative at home, my AC stays on 28 C, set on auto, and a fan is also helping. as the electricity bill proves, it's the right choice

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wonder what will happen when the melting permafrost releases methane making the average summer about 60 C.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japanese people need to harden up and adjust. In South-east Asia, many people survive without Aircon. Japanese seem to be a bit scared of cold water, but when my body gets too hot, I take a cold shower, sometimes 6 a day...works fine. In parts of Australia, people wake up early and go to the beach or meet friends for breakfast before the day gets too hot. In southern Europe they have siesta in the hottest part of the day. Japanese need to change...

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Here in Kyushu I have the air con set to 20c in the daytime and 23c at night. It's not as if my region can even share electricity with the eastern area of Japan. I refuse to buy into this silly notion of 'suffer one, suffer all'. It serves no purpose except making my house unbearable to be in.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I cannot grip the whole demography of these heartstroke victims, but some of these victims are door-to-door salesmen trying to meet monthly quotas. They are not inside the air conditioned buildings like everyone else. Poor guys!!

Japanese business corporations are well known for a bully practice (ijime) to send these newly hired door- to- door sales men to sizzling streets. If they still do, they should admit it their wrong doing and stop it right now. Shame, shame, shame!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

the goverment needs to find long term solution by offering generous tax breaks for people that invest in solar panels.

The government does have these tax breaks - haven't you received the flyers from METI for this? They were in my mail box months ago.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Some areas are doing a good job of saving energy - NOT! See this vidoe on YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5LGscpkCUU

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The usual bashing of the Japanese by "WE know better" foreign minorities. First comment -

"It appears that heatstroke victims are easily admitted (not turned down) to the hospitals unlike other emergency patients" What are you talking about?

naruhodo1 is right. 'Conserve' doesn't always mean 'Stop' and setting your AC to a higher temp will be fine. I am actually once of those statistics as I was emitted to hospital after I woke up one morning feeling like my head was squashed by an elaphant and was vommiting non stop. They said that I had Hydration sickness. It doesn't matter if you are fit and young like me or old and weak... Getting too hot is bad for you and it can catch you unawares.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

As Papasmurf says, aircon really is not necessary in homes. Just drink plenty, keep the windows open and if the wind doesn't give enough natural ventilation, switch on a fan. (The disadvantage is that you get tobacco smoke from the ****heads downstairs who step onto the balcony to smoke because they don't want the smoke inside.)

What really wears me out is the sudden temperature changes when walking out of an air conditioned room into the muggy heat.

I find it worse going from the warmth outside into an over-refrigerated building.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

twice this summer I have felt ill after moving from hot to cold (outside to inside). the temperatures are so different -- sometimes 36 outside and then instantly 20 inside. my body doesnt seem to like the sudden adjustment.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wonder how many posters here watch "みんなの家庭の医学" on Tuesday nights.

One of the better programs he(Takeshi) hosts, he does quiet a few good ones. It deals with a lot of different sicknesses and also current issues like heat-stroke, etc.

Very interesting as they usually have experts on the show explaining stuff. Also dispels a lot of the myths out there.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Papasmurf has clearly never been to my apartment or he'd understand the reliance on a.c. With all the windows open, the fan on and the straw screens up our southwest facing cement box is still a sauna for a good two months out of the year. It comes down to bad building design. I've been to places hotter and colder than Tokyo but never been as uncomfortable inside without relying on a.c. or heaters everywhere. Blame it on materials that don't suit the climate, a lack of insulation and air flow and you've summed up my building in a nutshell. For what we payed in key money and deposits not to mention rent and renewal fees, we should be able to sit without breathing being difficult. Heaven forbid I have to move around to do laundry, cook, clean, etc. All the fan does is blow around hot air. We've woken up to morning temperatures of 32+ though I use the term woken up lightly because without the a.c. it's often too hot to sleep.

3 ( +2 / -0 )

"Japanese people need to harden up and adjust. In South-east Asia, many people survive without Aircon.... Japanese need to change..."

Japanese are DYING and going into the hospital by the THOUSANDS and you say they need to change! The ones dying and going to the hospital are the ones trying to adjust to the temperature. It is the smart ones that are not sitting in the heat but are turning on the air conditioner so they don`t roast and die. People need common sense. If you have clean water, drink it. If you have an a/c use it. These luxuries serve great benefits to the health and well being of humans.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Whats with all this a/c crap. Use a fan, DRINK WATER. Thats it. i never use any a/c in my house. Today I was out cycling for about 5 hours no problem. Its all about rehydration, problem solved.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Manta60: My apologies in advance if you're being sarcastic but it's not translating well. If you're being serious, bully for you! You're clearly a far superior human being to the rest of us.

Those of you who don't think people need a.c. in summer but turn on heaters in the winter - zip it! Without knowing how hot some people's houses are or what those people's physical condition is, you don't have a leg to stand on. My tolerance for cold is very high. I shower with the gas off from late June to mid-September and would happily go all winter without the heater but for my husband, who sits next to me shivering. He, by the way, is from sub-Saharan Africa and even he finds our apartment intolerable in the summer.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I wasn't being sarcastic. I was talking about dehydration and how its so easy to avoid. I never mentioned winter, but if your husband is cold, might I suggest an extra layer of clothing, works wonders. I have also lived in Africa, not many people there have ac either.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If your apartment is that bad then try moving to another.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Yes, certainly people should stay hydrated but if they're sweating excessively there is absolutely nothing wrong with turning on the a.c. so that their homes are reasonable temperatures. Thanks for your concern for my husband. It sounded so heartfelt and sincere. He dresses appropriately but I'll let him know about your excellent advice. My comment about winter was clearly lost on you so I'll try again. Those who are so anti-a.c. and preach to others about how they should just suck it up in the summer but who use heaters in winter are hypocrites. I didn't mention you or anyone specifically but if the shoe fits.... Is that clear enough? True too that most people in Africa are without a.c. but many are also without clean, running water, indoor plumbing or readily available medical care. Should those of us who have those things stop using them because others don't have them? I'm sorry but I fail to see how it's relevant that people in Africa don't have a.c. but I guarantee you that those who do have it, be it in their houses, offices or cars, do use it. As for moving, again, excellent, sincere advice. The apartment is fine 9 1/2 months out of the year. Thank you very much.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If your apartment is that bad then try moving to another.

Or just turning on the A/C like a normal person. I just got home and turned mine on, it feels great.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Smorkian: Exactly!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I just turned off my AC - a modern, efficient beast. set at 28 °c in eco mode. it tells how much you have used it. It just came up 15hours - 58 yen of electricity. 58 yen for all day of comfort for my family. Thats very economical, I would guess some people 1970's senpukis blow through more electricity than that. Get rid of your horrid old inefficient wattage guzzling monstrosity and get a real new efficient air con. Be comfortable and guilt free, and have cheap power bills.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Papasmurf has clearly never been to my apartment or he'd understand the reliance on a.c

Maybe he has, you never know. : )

I can imagine you wanting to put on the a/c if your house is 35 degrees. I still think a shower, some fluids, an ice pack thingy and a ceiling fan will make you feel more refreshed, but that's just me.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

hey guys, heat stroke is quite different from hydration. But of course, intake of proper amount of water is the key to good health not only this summer but even on winter season.

-- > What heat stroke is really about is the inability of the body to regulate the body temperature without loosing the essential salt inside our body. The sweat glands make the body perspire by producing sweat out of the skin pores. The problem is that, at some instances, the sweat glands are producing and perspiring water from the body without filtering the salt (sodium) contents. They cannot stop the sodium not to go with the perspiration.

--> Now, in order to recover from heat stroke, one should immediately intake water with a solution of salt and sugar. For every one liter of water, add about 1 gram of salt and 4 grams of sugar. This is almost similar to the intravenous solutions given to heat stroke patients when they are brought to the hospital.

-->

The proper functioning of the sweat glands can be maintained through regular exercise in which your body actually sweat for more than 30 minutes everyday. South-east Asian countries are sweating whole year round since birth so very few among them suffer heat stroke.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Its partially the power situation but its also the fact that many think that drinking cold tea is enough to keep cool and hydrated. Some teas help in hydration but many are diaretics. People need to drink more water, plain water! I went to USJ this week and couldnt find water at any of the vendors, they all only had tea and sports drinks and beer. Do they realize that many of these sports drink contain sodium which will dehydrate you faster?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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