27 Jul, 2020 @ 10:44
2 mins read

ORANGE WEATHER ALERT: Typical symptoms of heatstroke as Spain’s Andalucia faces dangerous temperatures


SPANISH weather agency AEMET has activated the orange weather alert for high temperatures in Cordoba, Jaen and Granada.

The weather alert has been activated for today, Monday, as maximum temperatures expect to reach 41C between 12pm and 8pm.

Since Friday, much of Andalucia has been on alert for dangerous heat levels.

Sevilla and Almeria will be on yellow alert today with temperatures expected to reach up to 38C.

Huelva, Cadiz and Malaga will see milder temperatures than the rest of the region.

According to AEMET, the thresholds for activating warnings for high temperatures is as follows:

  • YELLOW: Moderate alert, between 36C and 38C.
  • ORANGE: High alert, between 39C and 41C.
  • RED: Extreme alert, between 42C and 44C.

As temperatures continue to rise above 40C in many areas of Andalucia, it’s important to be aware of heatstroke symptoms.

Heatstroke is the most serious form of heat injury and is considered a medical emergency. It is a condition caused by a body overheating, usually as a result of prolonged exposure to or physical exertion in high temperatures.


The most serious form of heatstroke typically occurs when the body temperature rises to 40C or higher and can kill or cause damage to the brain and other internal organs.

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HEATSTROKE: Call for an ambulance, or emergency medical services or take the victim to a hospital immediately as delay can be fatal.

Typical symptoms of heatstroke:

  • High body temperature. A core body temperature of 40C or higher.
  • Lack of sweating despite the heat.
  • Loss of appetite. Nausea and vomiting.
  • Flushed skin. Skin may turn red as body temperature increases.
  • Fast breathing or pulse
  • Behavioural changes such as confusion, disorientation, or staggering.
  • Throbbing headache.
  • Muscle weakness or cramps
  • Dizziness and light-headedness.
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness

Dos and don’ts of heat stroke:

  • Stop all activity and get indoors.
  • Call for an ambulance, or emergency medical services or take the victim to a hospital immediately as delay can be fatal.
  • A cool bath or sponging will help reduce body temperature.
  • Remove clothing. Use fans and/or air conditioners.
  • Do not go back outside for several hours, even if the cramps subside.

According to Antonio Berlango, specialist at the Emergency Department of the Reina Sofia University Hospital in Cordoba, ‘most of the patients who suffer from hyperthermia are elderly and usually already have some cognitive impairment and are not physically or psychologically able to defend themselves from heat’.

“Likewise, young children are also at risk,” he said.

You can help prevent heat stroke by drinking water and using the cooler rooms in the house.

The Andalucian Health Service differentiates between two levels of heatstroke in its statistics; heatstroke, where only 17 cases were registered last year in Cordoba’s Reina Sofia Hospital and heat-related cases which saw 75 patients attended with signs of exhaustion, syncope or cramps.

So far this year there has only been one recognised case of heatstroke in Cordoba.

The case however is extremely severe. The patient, a 35-year-old man, was taken by his relatives to the hospital in Cordoba in the early hours of July 11, where his temperature registered 42.5C, a severe life threat.

The patient is still in intensive care.

Cristina Hodgson

Half English, half Spanish animal person. Cristina loves writing about all things fitness, travel and culture, she is also a script writer and novelist. When she's not typing away, you can find her enjoying outdoor sports somewhere off the beaten track in Andalucia. If you have a story get in touch! [email protected]

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