Up to 500 deaths per year – Smoke: Austrians underestimate the heat


Up to 500 deaths per year – Smoke: Austrians underestimate the heat

Up to 500 heat-related deaths occur in Austria every year. Yet, according to Health Minister Johannes Rauch (Greens), extreme temperatures are underestimated. On Wednesday he presented the National Heat Protection Plan, which was revised after seven years.

The responsible authority was Gesundheit Österreich GmbH (GÖG), which adapted the national plans to international standards. Informing the population is particularly important because Austrians continue to underestimate the heat, Health Minister Rauch said. The country is currently experiencing the first warm days of June, with temperatures expected to peak at just under 35 degrees on Friday. “Excessive heat impairs the ability to regulate body temperature and has a direct impact on cardiovascular disease,” warned AGES director Johannes Pleiner-Duxneuner.

Infants, small children, the elderly and chronically ill, as well as the homeless and people affected by poverty, are particularly affected by high temperatures. However, everyone would feel the direct and indirect effects of heat.

Tips for correct behavior
Recommendations for behavior during heat waves should be made in detail, for example through advertisements and an information folder that can be ordered free of charge via the brochure service. The recommendations are aimed at private individuals as well as healthcare and social organizations. Examples of this are information about good ventilation or finding cool places. The latter are also part of the plan, because public spaces are becoming increasingly greener. In addition, Caritas has already opened 27 parish gardens to the population in Vienna and Lower Austria.

The heat protection plan is based on the Geosphere Austria warning scale. According to this, the burden on the people is light at the moment and will increase significantly on Friday. In recent decades, the number of days above 30 degrees has doubled or tripled, says Andrea Schmidt from GÖG. “What used to be a record is now average.” “That’s clear, that won’t just go away. The hot spells will continue,” Rauch added.

Source: Krone


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