Heat wave hits Czech Republic

Photo: CTK

The Czech Republic is currently experiencing a heat wave. Whilst just a few days ago temperatures reached a maximum of only 23 degrees Celsius, this week has seen them shoot up to the low 30's. Those on holiday are flocking to swimming pools and their holiday cottages whilst workers try to get through the days with the help of fans, open windows and numerous breaks. Ambulances are rushing to people who have collapsed and casualty wards have their hands full attending to patients suffering from heat exhaustion. Whilst restaurants are losing business, the country's pubs are full of customers popping in for that quick beer to quench the thirst. But despite all of this, Czechs on the streets of Prague told Radio Prague that they are enjoying the few days of sunshine:

Photo: CTK
"Overall it's okay. It's warm for a few days but then gets colder again so it's not so bad yet. But when the real heat comes I won't be going out much. You see, I'm already a pensioner."

"I'm handling it quite well, I like the heat. What I don't like is when people say that the young generation can handle it better than the older people who are told to stay in the shade. I find it discriminating because even the young, those with allergies, have to stay in the shade nowadays whilst many of us, older people love the heat and stay in the sun."

"It's fine. I'm fine!"

"So far it's okay. But when it gets warmer it will be better to look for a swimming pool."

Photo: CTK
William Agossa works at one of Prague's major hospitals and says that with the serious temperature changes we are experiencing, people are at a higher risk of suffering from heat exhaustion as they are less likely to take the necessary precautions in hot weather. He adds that many, especially the elderly don't realise that the golden rule in the summer months is to drink a lot:

"Normally it's recommended to drink even in winter but in the summer one should drink at least two litres of water a day. If possible, have a glass of water every half hour or every hour. It is most important to lower the body temperature as quickly as possible. The failure to do so can result in permanent brain damage or even death. In addition, the subject should be moved to a cool but not cold environment and all clothing should be removed. He should be wrapped in a cold moist sheet and transported to a medical facility as quickly as possible. So, if someone has lost a lot of water he could become very weak and be dizzy. In this case we have to give the person an infusion, if it is a case of intracellular dehydration."