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Officials advise caution as a dangerous heatwave affects NC

heat index tuesday
National Weather Service - Newport
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Temperatures are climbing this week and public health officials are advising people to take precautions to protect themselves and their children from heat-related illnesses.

The National Weather Service in Newport has issued an excessive heat warning from noon Tuesday until 8 p.m. for Pitt, Pamlico, Inland Onslow, Jones, Beaufort, Duplin, Lenoir, Northern Craven, Southern Craven, and Greene Counties. Dangerously hot conditions with heat index values up to 112 are expected. A heat advisory is up for Martin, Mainland Hyde, Mainland Dare, Tyrrell, Coastal Onslow, Washington, East Carteret, West Carteret Counties, and Northern Outer Banks from noon today to 8 p.m. this evening.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services said in a news release that prolonged exposure to heat can lead to dehydration, overheating, heat illness, and even death. According to the North Carolina Heat Report, there were 787 emergency department visits for heat-related illnesses from May 1 to June 13, most of the visits were for heat exhaustion. Patients presenting to emergency departments are mostly male, ages 25-64. Officials say you should increase fluid intake, take frequent breaks, and reduce normal levels of activity to reduce the risk of heat-related illness.