PHOENIX — The number of hospital visits in Arizona for heat-related illnesses has nearly doubled over the last two weeks, public health data shows.
At least 570 heat-related illnesses were reported in the state's hospitals during the week of July 16. Two weeks earlier, the state reported 287 heat-related illnesses.
During the week of July 17, 2022, Arizona reported having 314 heat-related illnesses.
A heat illness can include heat cramps, exhaustion, heat stroke, and hyperthermia.
The Arizona Department of Health Services said paramedics and firefighters have also reported treating an increasing number of patients for heat illnesses during the state's ongoing heat wave.
Temperatures in the Valley have repeatedly reached 110 degrees throughout the month of July.
The 570 hospital visits reported last week are far above the typical amount Arizona has seen in recent years. In 2017, the highest weekly number of heat-related hospital visits was 323, according to the state's health data.
The health department advises Arizonans to stay inside when possible, drink plenty of water, avoid strenuous activity during the hottest hours of the day, and wear light-colored clothing.
The Phoenix area's excessive heat warning has been extended to Friday, July 28.
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What is the Valley?:
“The Valley” is what locals call the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. It is considered the largest metropolitan area in the Southwest.
The Valley is made up of various major cities other than Phoenix, including:
- El Mirage
- Litchfield Park
Whether a city is in the “East Valley” or “West Valley” depends on where it is in relation to Phoenix.
The cities of the Valley have a combined population of 4,845,832 people, according to the 2020 United States Census. This makes it the 11th largest metropolitan area in the country right behind the Boston and Atlanta areas.