THE ongoing blistering heatwave in Spain—with mercury rising above 45ºC in some areas—has already claimed 43 lives.

The Carlos III Health Institute, which reports to the Ministry of Health, has reported 43 deaths due to excess temperatures recorded in the first two days of the heatwave in Spain.

Specifically, Sunday July 10 saw 15 fatalities due to the heatwave and Monday, July 11, 28 deaths were registered. For the moment there is no data for the other days of the week.

In most cases deaths are analysed by the respective District Health Committee based on the victim’s symptoms, his/her exposure to heat etc before the cause is attributed to the heatwave or a heatstroke.

Spain is going through its second major heatwave so far this summer, and authorities warn that the episode of high temperatures that has been sweeping the country since Sunday can aggravate previous health problems.

The signs of heat exhaustion include: a headache; dizziness and confusion; loss of appetite and feeling sick; excessive sweating and pale, clammy skin, cramps in the arms, legs and stomach, fast breathing or pulse and high body temperature of 38C or above.

If signs persist or if you think a person may be experiencing heatstroke, seek immediate medical help.

The extreme heatwave will continue to leave highs of 40ºC plus over the next few days, scalding temperatures which are expected to ease off as of Monday, July 18.

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