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Nearly 40,000 hospitalized for heatstroke so far this summer

23 Comments

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said Tuesday that 39,944 people have been taken to hospital nationwide to be treated for heatstroke since May 27. The agency also said that 78 deaths had been attributed to heatstroke up to Monday.

The number of people being treated for heatstroke is 30% more than for the same period last year, Fuji TV reported. Of the total, more than 50% were aged 65 and older, the agency said.

The number jumped dramatically since the current heatwave hit last week with 9,815 hospitalized as of Monday, the agency said.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, the heatwave is expected to continue until at least the end of next week.

The agency has issued heat warnings for 38 of Japan’s 47 prefectures, telling people to keep drink water regularly and keep air conditioners turned on.

Hokkaido has been spared the heatwave, with Kushiro consistently being the coolest place to be in summer, with temperatures not exceeding 25 degrees.

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23 Comments
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Again, most (not all) of these cases were easily preventable... There is something incongruent now with Japan basically being a tropical country three months a year, but lacking the tropical culture that say Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia or Malaysia have.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The Japanese need to learn from Singapore. That city has dealt which such climate by creating a "garden city," where for instance, boulevard trees form "tunnels" over the streets, casting down cool shade, and many public areas are grass shaded by trees, not tree-less, shade-less concrete, as in Japan. Even a couple of parks in my neighorbood are concrete, and so the kids don't play there in summer.

Being an island, Singapore's seaside is kept clean for swimming and much of the coastline is recreational, so people can freely cool off at beaches a mere 10 to 15 minutes from downtown.

My Tokyo neighborhood has nothing, zero, zip in terms of places to cool off. The nearest outdoor pool is about 6 kilometers away, opened for only 10 weeks of the year, and invariably horribly crowded. Osaka was even worse when I lived there.

Today, a holiday, will be spent at home with the air-con cranked.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Lack of common sense contributes to a lot of these cases.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

other reasons for this: 1) 90 year olds working in fields on their farms wearing long sleeve shirts and jeans, 2) no one likes to use their air con, 3) people are afraid of the sun so they wear sleeves constantly and get overheated.

its a shame but completely preventable.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

but yet, the Koshien high school baseball championships are still going ahead in the blazing heat? And taking up more than half of the public TV channels.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Where can we buy one big chill pill?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I see people jogging during the heat of the day carrying a 500ml pet bottle of water. If you need to go jogging either do it indoors at a gym or early in the morning or in the evening.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Kind of too late to cool down this concrete island now. Planting trees over everything for shade would be impossible. Maybe the future of Japan is going underground .

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Seriously, guys dress like its Summer.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I wish we could have a shadow, but some silly tradition means we have to cut all the trees down to skeletons every springtime. So, concretes get so roasting hot and Japan gets even more hotter. Just leave trees in spring...lets enjoy a shadow!

Really is no meaning to cutting a tree. We Japanese love nature, isn't it? Only by words, I think.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

"I wish we could have a shadow, but some silly tradition means we have to cut all the trees down"

You've hit the nail on the head. "Shade" in Japanese is "kage," which carries a lot of negative connotations, ie, gloom, darkness, negativity, etc. And that's a bad thing, in the minds of the Japanese. So they destroy the things, like broadleaf branches, that cast shade.

That's the mindset that gives us the heat island effect and the "concrete park" phenomenon. And the fact that during my 8- minute walk to the station, the only shade I enjoy is that cast by buildings. There are trees but they're perfectly vertifical and have been pruned to toothpicks.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I've read that temperatures in Kōchi in southern Shikoku are hovering around 40 °C. in the late afternoon! That's around 104 °F., and when you add in over 60% humidity, no wonder why heat stroke is a serious problem. I'd go to an air-conditioned room in no time flat....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I never understood why JT reports heatstroke numbers so often. It's hot and people get heatstroke all the time. It's preventable in most cases but people don't take it seriously until it's too late.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I remarked on the heat to an elderly acquaintance recently, and he reacted as if surprised: "Yes, I suppose it is hot."

Remember that the elderly often do not sense heat as the young do. If you see an elderly person doing something unreasonable, reason with them.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

15-minute walk to work and I thought I was going to die. The sun is incredibly intense, the heat vicious, and the humidity high -- all a horrible combination. The worst was in the first five minutes, where the newly paved area that the cut the trees down to make was baking! The only 'respite' was that a soft wind was blowing, so when I got to the area with all the rice fields it felt a little cooler (and the fields smell great). I had a few heatstroke symptoms on Monday after spending 8 hours in an office with no air-conditioner. There were two or three fans, but the one nearest me just seemed to be blowing really hot air. It was cooler outside. Bought a sports drink for the way home, hopped in a cold shower, and have had the A/C on ever since.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Business as usual. Your grandparents are getting old, their body is getting bad at dealing with heat, even if you don't go in the fields, use air-con, etc. Summer is tough for them. In many countries, they'd just die. In Japan, they are luckier they all do their yearly trip to hospital for refreshing, and they get out, genkii, back at it like in 1940. My granpa back home, too, he is in hospitable now, checked in for 2 weeks, heatstroke if you speak like J-media, mild dehydration for the doctors. He's got that in the last 7 Summers, even if temperature is not over 30 degrees there and 25 in his house.

Again, most (not all) of these cases were easily preventable...

Yes, people should refrain from becoming aged. Surely in some tropical countries, they have very few "over 80", "over 90" and "over 100".

that 39,944 people have been taken to hospital nationwide to be treated for heatstroke

This is FALSE. They did not have "heatstroke" , they were having preliminary symptoms, and they went to hospital. Most of them went in time. The death rate of the actual heatstroke is at the very best 10 percent and in average 20%, and you see well, there are not 4000 deaths. So there will be more hospital admissions in the next years, because most of this years' patients will all be living and not getting younger, plus a new batch of elderly will join them.

I never understood why JT reports heatstroke numbers so often.

J-media does it to scare the crowds and make them buy air-cons, buy pocari, buy the story that Japan cannot live without Tepco-nukes... .And that makes you feel so smart to get the opportunity to day " It's preventable in most cases but people don't take it seriously until it's too late."

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Everytime JT runs one of these heatstroke stories many people make comments about how deaths could be prevented by the use of common sense. I agree with many of the points made but there is something those railing against the wearing of long sleeves & long pants seem to have never considered. That is that some people need to cover up because they have a sun allergy, also known as photo dermatitis and other names. If you don't know about it, you can Google it easily and learn about it on the Mayo Clinic or other medical info pages, or Wikipedia, etc.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Stop wiping away sweat. Your body sweats so water can evaporate on your skin, and reduce your body temperature. I see guys with these stupid towels around their neck wiping every drop away. Not only will you not get cooler like that, you'll continue to sweat, promote dehydration, increasing the likelihood of heatstroke.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I train in a gym with no air conditioning three times a week and I can tell you that it's really tough due to the heat. I keep going by drinking a lot of water, switching my training to strength training during the really hot months and focusing on new PR as often as I can. Lift heavy, then go home to a cold bath.

Come fall, I go back to my usual park training outside most mornings while watching the sun rise.

I think it all comes down to expectations. I change my training lifestyle in the summer because I would be one of the 40,000 hospitalized if I continued my usual schedule. Some people don't/can't change and they end up on a stretcher.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

****Japanese will continue dying of heatstroke unless they change to tropical life during summer.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The main symptom of heatstroke is a body temperature of 40 degrees or more. It is a medical emergency. Being at this temperature will lead to unconsciousness. What needs to be done? Get out of the sun. Get the body temperature down, ice, cold shower. Call 119. These are much more important for treating someone who is unconscious. Especially for children playing sports, since they may not realize what is happening until it is too late. How big a difference can this make? Take two high school boys of the same age, one was treated by being taken out of the sun, into a shower, and treated with ice while waiting for the ambulance. The other boy was treated on the field with ice and cold towels while waiting for the ambulance. Both were already unconscious and body tempertature above 40. Both were treated in pediatric intensive care for three weeks. The first boy attended the second boy' s funeral. The outcome was inevitable since the second boy arrive at the hospital with a body temperature of 42. The old and very young do not have good control of their body temperature so they are more at risk.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You have got to stay hydrated during this hot weather. Not taking in enough fluids will contribute to heat stroke.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

TokyoGas, I, now 52, jog 10km twice a week and cycle 25-35km twice a week, mostly early afternoon. On my days off i can go all day without an a/c. As I have my own business so I have time during the day. You may see a 200ml bottle with me but you don't see the 500yen coins in my pocket. These people jogging during he day pretty much know what they're doing. My father, now 80 plays golf twice a week, in Florida. I believe the problem is with the people who don't exercise and just lazy around all day and expect a guiding hand. A health body can take the heat however one in poor health, especially one with excessive alcohol and greasy food may have difficulties. So please don't knock the ones working hard to keep healthy and use less health care.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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