WHO issues new advice on heat-waves

Over the last week, several countries in south-eastern Europe have experienced a severe heat-wave.

Every year, heat harms the health of many people, particularly the elderly. It can trigger exhaustion, heart attacks or confusion and can worsen existing conditions such as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. Yet these health effects are largely preventable.

WHO/Europe has issued a new information package with advice for the general public, medical professionals and health services. Additional, updated information addresses working environments and other extreme events, such as vegetation fires.

The information package is part of a wider portfolio of action for prevention, ranging from timely public and medical advice to health system preparedness, coordinated with meteorological early warning systems, and improvements to housing and urban planning. These actions can be integrated into a heat–health action plan, and many European countries have developed such plans, to enable them to plan for heat and take action quickly.

Heat-wave in Bulgaria

Following the record temperatures recently recorded in south-western and northern Bulgaria, the WHO Country Office, Bulgaria has distributed the WHO/Europe information package with public health advice. The national authorities have warned citizens to be extremely careful about sun and heat exposure.