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      Battling heat stroke & exhaustion

      The heat is on. Communities along the Lake Superior shoreline that usually experience a refrigerator effect are feeling more like ovens.

      "Normally we get the lake breezes that kind of move in and cool down the temps, and we've kind of had this south westerly wind that pulls in the temperatures off the land as opposed to blowing across the lake and cool down first," said Keith Cooley with the National Weather Service in Negaunee Twp.

      At 94 degrees Fahrenheit, Sunday was the warmest day in Negaunee Twp. since July 2006, so just a warm reminder: heat exhaustion and heat stroke are serious concerns in these hot, humid conditions.

      "Right now the conditions are very, very ripe for heat-related illnesses," said Marquette General Registered Nurse, Gary Gustafson.

      Heat illnesses occur when your body can't keep itself cool, and humidity adds to that complication.

      "One of the ways that we do cool ourselves off is by sweating," Gustafson said. "When the humidity is so high and there's so much moisture in the air to begin with, your body loses its ability to actually sweat because the air is humid already. It's much more difficult for the body to get rid of that fluid."

      Heat exhaustion is a precursor to heat stroke, a fatal condition that requires immediate medical treatment. Heat exhaustion can make you sweaty, nauseous and have a headache. Heat exhaustion becomes heat stroke, when your body will lose its ability to sweat and when neurological changes develop, including disorientation, unconsciousness.

      Patients who have heat stroke have a body temperature greater than 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

      To avoid heat exhaustion altogether, it's simple: get out of the heat, get in the shade, near the lakeshore or in air conditioning. Also, stay hydrated by drinking sports drinks or water.