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Maricopa County Public Health investigate heat-related deaths

PHOENIX (CBS, KYMA/KECY) — 111 heatstroke deaths are under investigation, 30 more than last year.

Maricopa County Public Health has been tracking these deaths since 2006.

Over the years, they've built a dashboard with data that tracks who is dying and why. The dashboard tracks the age and race of those who died, whether they used drugs or alcohol, and even whether they were considered homeless.

In recent years, they have also focused on deaths from heatstroke indoors and whether air conditioning was present and in use at the time of the death.

Nick Staab, deputy medical director for the Department of Public Health, said the reports are being used to track which groups need resources.

“We're working really hard to quantify and communicate how severe the heat is and how it's impacting our communities, particularly our vulnerable and at-risk populations. We're going to use that data with our various partners to communicate that this is a real danger in Maricopa County and we want to plan for the future to avoid as many deaths as possible.”

Nick Staab, Deputy Medical Director for Public Health

There is further data on heat illness based on local emergency department and inpatient hospital visits.

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