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First untimely heat of this year in the mid of June .
For the first time in recent years June in Greece has been unpredictably hot .On June 18th, mercury reached 40 Celcius and stayed as such for over three days. Since then temperatures subside but also raise again , and the forecasts are warning for a long hot summer. Even though Athens is a world's popular destination, it is advised to be informed and manage your movements throughout the days and hours of high temperatures , especially due to the high air pollution and ground-level ozone emissions that form a potentially fatal cocktail for ages above 65 years old, toddlers, asthma sufferers and people with cardiac and respiratory problems
Protection from heat is necessary the Greek CDC Guidelines stress, reminding all the necessary steps to take for protecting you and your beloved ones. People who are od weak health, kids, and elderly, need your intention and care during the heat hours or days, and you should always have this in mind
• The dehydration of the body.
• Heat exhaustion and heat stroke, which can become lifethreatening for vulnerable groups, and also healthy people of any age go to the official Greek CDC (HCDCP) Press Release
• fainting, payment forces,
• cold and clammy skin,
• drop in blood pressure,
• normal (usually) body temperature
• increased body temperature (<40.5oC),
• hot and red skin,
• coagulation disorders
• behavioral disorders, loss of consciousness or
• Transfer the sufferer in a cool, airy, shady or air-conditioned area or if outdoors, take him on trees shadow.
• Give the person drink slowly cool water (not ice cold).and be sure he drinks it slowly
• Loosen or remove clothing that may be annoying.
• Use wet with cold water towels or sheets to cool his body.
• Ensure that the patient can sit back and watch him on recovery changes of his health condition.
Until then, you can take the following actions:
• Transfer the patient in a cool, airy or air space and in any case shady as under trees.
• Reduction of the patient's body temperature with wet sheets or towels or other cold compresses or taking in a bathtub with cool water.
• Gradual granting of small amounts of cool water if the patient is conscious and not vomiting
Ozone levels had noticebly surpassed the safety levels during the 13 days lasting heat of late June 2016, according to the Greek Ministry of Environment and the warnings prompted by the Health Ministry of Greece.
According to official announcements, high ground-level ozone rates beyond safety limits were recorded in June 18 in the suburbs of Liosia, Maroussi, Aghia Paraskevi and Thrakomakedones, north of the city center while the heat was reaching the 40-Celcius, and also on June 30 in Lykovrisi and Liosia during afternoon time, even though the temperatures did not exceed the 33C.
The European Environmental Agency updated its Guidelines to all European Countries in June 21, 2016 to raise awareness for the protection of ozone+ heat fatal condition
It was the central Europe that faced heat and ozone oncentrations last summer
In 2015 summer, the highest concentrations had been on 25 and 26 July in the afternoon and evening by Belgium, western Germany, the Paris region and northern France and the north of Italy particullary affected
Unlike ozone in the stratosphere, which protects us from ultraviolet radiation, high levels of ground-level or ‘tropospheric’ ozone can also damage plants, reducing crop yields and forest growth, and also damage buildings and monuments.
Ground-level ozone is not directly emitted into the atmosphere but is formed from chemical reactions following the release of various ‘precursor pollutants’ from a wide variety of sources: for example, fossil fuel combustion, road transport, refineries, solvents, vegetation, landfills, wastewater, livestock, and forest fires.
The reactions that create ozone are catalysed by heat and sunlight – so it is a particular problem in the summer months, and southern Europe typically has much higher levels of ozone than the north. go to official site
It's been just 25 years since the deadly heat wave of July 1987, that costed officially 1300 lives and unofficially over 1,500 victims. It was a heat that reached the 44 Celcius and lasted six days. Air conditioners had not been installed yet in the buildings and homes of Athens, and indeed, not even in the hospitals.
The prolonged heat had burned the walls, and the consequences were dramatic. It was one of the biggest disasters in Attica history, with over 1115 lives lost in Attika region and Athens only.
But in was not the first time of Athens highest temperatures . In 1978 the heat had reached the 48 Celcius (!) with no victims. It did not last more than two days..... source
Go to our exclusive article on the Euroheat study
According to a large recent comparative study on 15 European countries Athens is proved to be more fatal than the majority of the rest of European cities under heat wave temperatures, becomes more fatal as the mercury goes up, per 1°C increase, and even more dangerous and fatal per day of the heat proonged period, and even more harmful as the ozone and air pollution prises rise
• Drink plenty of fluids (water, fruit or vegetable juices).
• Avoid coffee and alcohol.
• Avoid direct sun exposure and limit your movement as possible throughout the hot hours and days in Greece
• Use, if possible, air conditioning or fan during the warmer hours of the day.
• Dress in light, comfortable and lightcolor clothes.
• Have a few cool showers during the day.
• If you sweat a lot, you can increase the salt consumption (look medical advice if the salt restriction is recommended you).
• Eat small (by volume) and light meals, emphasizing fruit and vegetable intake and limit the heavy meals
• Avoid outdoor manual work, especially in places with high temperature, apnea and high humidity.
• If you suffer from chronic diseases (respiratory, cardiovascular, etc.) consult your doctor for any special measures to take.
• If you have a newborn at home, make sure it is dressed lightly.
Ask directions from your pediatrician on how to get the infant wet.
• Close the external windows during the hottest hours of the day and open them after the sunset
• If you have elderly relatives or acquaintances,make sure you do not to leave them unattended on the days of heat.
• If you experience any discomfort or inconvenience, contact your doctor.
Under the tree ,This is Why to seek shade
(a) trees provide shade, thereby keeping street and building surfaces cooler; and
(b) trees use evapotranspiration to cool themselves and the surrounding air.
Evapotranspiration is the process by which trees "transpire", or perspire, so to speak, from both the leaves and the root systems. The result is, as the water evaporates it dissipates the heat in and around the tree which leads to cooler air in the area encompassing the tree.
Smog is the result of pollutants in the air acted upon by the sun's light, this is known as a photochemical reaction.
c) Leaves help reduce air pollution by "capturing" airborne particles, such as Nitrogen dioxide, NO2, Nitrogen oxide, NO, and Sulfur dioxide, SO2, while at the same time they are releasing Oxygen, O2.
It's a good idea to cool yourself by the pool , if you are in Athens during the big heat, but be sure your pool is safe . Obviously, during the hot days your hotel;s pool will be at most overcrowded. Learn about infections lurking in a pool even by best sanitation management, and ask your hotel manager if you are not sure appropriate measures are kept. Here are the official recommendations for pool safety
Greek to me ! is a Social Responsibility Communication social media for the Traveler's Health Safety in Greece, designated to keep travelers, visitors and foreigners updated 24/7 for any Public Health Safety and Preparedness information concerning Greece and the Greek islands, especially under the critical conditions that one could potentially face while traveling to Greece due to the austerity and refugee crisis .
Traveler's Health Recommendations and Guidelines are provided by the commitment of the greek2m team, to journalistic accuracy and credibility on scientific updated evidence based medical information , under the auspices and the approval of the Greek Center of Disease Control, the Hellenic CDC (HCDP)