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Heat stress and illness–don’t let this happen to someone you love!

After a too-close call with heat exhaustion with one of our fine UGA extension specialists yesterday (they shall remain nameless–fortunately recovered), it seems like a good time to remind you that high temperatures and high humidity do not do good things to the human body (or livestock, for that matter). This has been a brutal summer for sultry, overheated days, and all the rain and high humidity has not only led to the development of a lot of fungal diseases in the crops but has also put outdoor workers and livestock in danger. If you work outdoors, you need to be aware of the symptoms and plan to limit your time outside in the worst conditions.

Here is a link to the Mayo Clinic information on heat stroke: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heat-stroke/symptoms-causes/syc-20353581

One way to monitor conditions if you are in Georgia is to use the Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) value calculated at the UGA Weather Network stations on their current weather page. For example, as I am writing this at 11 am on August 26, the temperature is 89 F, the dew point is 76 F, the relative humidity is 67%, and the WBGT is 93 F (which rates a black flag on our web site). Anything over 90 F for WBGT should mean minimal outside activities for everyone and attention to appropriate clothing, frequent breaks in the shade, and hydration, hydration, hydration!

Know the signs of heat-related illness and be prepared to help others who might not be aware of their situation, and help keep each other safe when working in extreme heat and humidity.