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News Aug. 24, 2023

Tool tracks heat-related illness in the U.S.

The Heat-Related Illness EMS Activation Surveillance Dashboard, or EMS HeatTracker, is part of a new online information portal from the Department of Health and Human Services and was created in partnership with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, according to Safety+Health.

The tool features a map that displays heat-related emergency medical services activations at national, state and county levels and breaks down patient data by age, race, gender and location.

“Existing data on heat-related deaths doesn’t shed light on where people actually fall ill,” said John Balbus, acting director of HHS’ Office of Climate Change and Health Equity. “This new dashboard makes it possible to see where the needs are greatest, plan for the future and save lives.”

Extreme heat causes the deaths of more than 600 people in the U.S. annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Outdoor workers, such as construction workers, especially are exposed to heat-related risks.

The tool also is available at heat.gov.

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