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Heat-related deaths up to 59 in Maricopa County; 345 under investigation

Phoenix (3TV/CBS 5) — Maricopa County officials confirmed nearly 60 heat-related deaths and hundreds more still under investigation. Wednesday, the Maricopa County Department of Public Health said. weekly fever report, As a result, 20 more deaths were confirmed to be heat-related, bringing the total to 59 in 2023. Officials say the numbers are high because of 31 consecutive days of heat above 110 degrees in July.

New figures show 16 people died from indoor heat, 11 of whom had air conditioning not working. In some cases, homeowners did not have electricity or air conditioning. The age group most likely to die from heatstroke is between 50 and 64 years old. There are now a total of 404 confirmed or suspected heat-related deaths, a significant increase. last year's time, 331 deaths were confirmed. The death toll is now on track to surpass last year's numbers, according to projections from Maricopa County's chief medical examiner.

Arizona's extreme temperatures eased slightly, but heat-related deaths increased as highs neared 120 degrees. On July 22nd, seven people died due to the heat wave, which reached 118 degrees.

The county's first heatstroke death of the year occurred on April 11th. In the county, 44 people were confirmed to have died from heatstroke, exceeding the number of deaths from heatstroke during the same period last year.

The county said there is a common misconception that many of the deaths were from outside the city. But most of the people who died from the heat have lived in Maricopa County for years. They also want to remind people that death from heat is preventable. “Anyone can find themselves in a situation where they suddenly don’t have access to a cool, air-conditioned space, so we need to know what resources exist and how to plan to escape the heat. We really want people to know what to do because we've been in that situation ourselves,” said Dr. Nick Staab, assistant medical director for the Maricopa County Department of Public Health.

So what would the plan be? Have a friend or relative who can be with you in case of an emergency. Officials are also asking people to find out where their nearest cooling shelter is. To find it, click here.

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