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Ambulance responses to heatstroke symptoms down after record week

People walk through the intense heat as high temperatures around the surface of the pavement heat up the atmosphere to cause a heat mirage in the city of Kumagaya, Saitama Prefecture, near Tokyo, on July 23, 2018. (Mainichi)

During the one week heat wave period from July 23-29, a total of 13,721 people nationwide were rushed to the hospital for heatstroke symptoms, and of those cases, there were 39 fatalities, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency announced on the morning of July 31.

From July 16 to 22, the week prior, 22,647 people were rushed by ambulance to hospitals and 65 people died -- both figures the highest on record for a single week since the weekly numbers began being recorded in 2008. However, the severe heat died down during the week of July 23, with the approach of Typhoon Jongnari and other factors, leading to a lull in emergency calls.

By prefecture, Osaka in western Japan had the most people rushed by ambulance to the hospital for heatstroke in the last week, at 1,160 people. Tokyo came in second with 1,146 people, followed by 1,055 people in Aichi Prefecture in central Japan and 768 in Hyogo Prefecture in western Japan. The most fatalities were in Saitama prefecture north of Tokyo and Aichi, at five and four people, respectively.

Those persons rushed by ambulance from their "residences," which includes gardens, made up the most cases at 6,783 people, or 49.4 percent. Those taken to the hospital from unspecified "indoor" public locations made up 9.7 percent at 1,333 cases.

While the severe heat has relented a bit, the proportion of people taken by ambulance for heatstroke symptoms from indoor locations looks to continue to remain high.

(Japanese original by Shinya Hamanaka, Political News Department)

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