Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Health officials surprised by who keels from heat

Writing on the website ROUTE FIFTY, the site's news editor Dave Nyczepir says some health officials in Pinal County, an Arizona county near where I live, used data analytics to find out who was succumbing to heat-related illness.

They used to comb the death stats for keywords related to heat and try to find out who experienced what that way.

But now, they are matching that data with hospital dischange numbers to see what is happening in real time.

Is heat stress morbidity related to the temperature or a time of year or a special group or gender?

This is how they try to detect epidemics before they get full-blown--how many people come in with a certain rash, say.

They found that heat illness was more common than they thought.

And, interestingly, it seemed to affect younger people more than old, which turns the old assumption on its head.

When it gets to be above 100 degress, the 25-yr-old doing construction is more likely to suffer than the 70-yr-old going grocery shopping.

So construction companies should not only have lots of water available, but start early and quit by 2 PM.

This is not the only ailment that can be prevented or handled with good statistics. Pinal County also has a person whose only job is to work on managing tuberculosis cases in the county.

Technology at work!

Stay well.

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