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GW Experts Available to Comment on Healthcare During Heatwaves

WASHINGTON (June 27, 2023)— A heatwave that’s affecting 55 million people across the southern United States is expected to expand northward and eastward ahead of the July 4 holiday, according to projections from the National Weather Service (NWS). The NWS’s Weather Prediction Center issued a warning yesterday that there is “more danger than a typical heat event, due to the longevity of near-record or record high nighttime lows,” alongside the combination of extreme heat and humidity, which increases the potential for heat related illnesses. As many as 83 major cities are predicted to experience dangerous temperatures of 100+ degrees for one or more days this week.

Much of south-central Texas has already been under extreme heat advisories for two weeks, with some cities breaking records, registering temperatures of 118 to 119 degrees. Excessive heat warnings, the highest priority, include Dallas, New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where the heat index will approach 120 degrees. The dangerous temperatures are expected to reach as far north as Missouri and southern Indiana, and eastward across the Gulf Coast, reaching the Florida Keys.

The George Washington University has experts available to comment on a variety of issues connected to heat-related illnesses.

James Phillips is an associate professor of Emergency Medicine and Chief of Disaster and Operational Medicine at the GW School of Medicine & Health Science. His focus includes response, recovery, mitigation, and planning for all types of natural disasters.

Andrew C. Meltzer is a professor of Emergency Medicine at the GW School of Medicine & Health Science. An experienced emergency medicine physician, he can discuss prevention and treatment of heat-related illnesses.

Robert Shesser is a professor and Chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the GW School of Medicine & Health Science. He can discuss how hospitals and cities move to protect and treat vulnerable populations during periods of extreme heat.  


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