NT Health Alert: Severe Conditions This Week

by NT Rugby

NT Health Alert

Severe Conditions This Week

4 March 2021

The Chief Health Officer has issued a heat health alert with severe heat conditions expected across the Top End and parts of Central Australia this week.

The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast severe heat wave conditions across the Top End all week and into the weekend.

Chief Health Officer Dr Hugh Heggie has advised residents and visitors in affected areas to take appropriate precautions to avoid heat stress (also known as heat stroke) and dehydration.

“It is a typically hot time of year both in the Top End and also in the desert regions so it is timely to remind Territorians and visitors to be vigilant to conditions. 

“Temperatures, and therefore risk to health, will be high this week and into the weekend’’ he said. 

“Be prepared, and remember to stay cool and stay safe. Ensure you and your family have access to cool water.

“Beloved family pets also aren’t immune to heat stress and so ensuring they have an adequate water supply and access to shade is also essential”.

The groups that are most high-risk in heat wave conditions include: Children, people aged over 65, people living alone, people who are socially isolated and people who are taking medications that affect the body’s ability to cope with heat.

NT Health encourages you to:

  • Wear lightweight, light-coloured, loose clothes and a wide-brimmed hat
  • Avoid strenuous activities, especially outdoors
  • Drink at least three litres of water a day, even if you’re not thirsty
  • If you are sweating, it means your core temperature is elevated. Consider having iced or crushed iced drinks or food.
  • Maintain a healthy salt intake
  • Avoid alcohol and hot or sugary drinks, including tea and coffee
  • Spend as much time as possible indoors in air-conditioning
  • Use fans and damp towels if you don’t have air-conditioning

Symptoms of heat stress

  • Tiredness and lethargy
  • Headache
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Confusion leading to poor decision making
  • Muscle cramps
  • Feeling thirsty
  • Urinating less often

Please seek medical advice if you feel unwell. If your symptoms are serious, call triple zero (000) immediately. 

To view the BOM Heat Assessment maps, visit: http://www.bom.gov.au/australia/heatwave/

For more information on heat stress, visit: https://nt.gov.au/wellbeing/health-conditions-treatments/heat-stress