Seattle-area heat wave results in several deaths, officials say
At least three people's deaths are linked to last week's record-breaking heat wave, and another three people drowned during the same six-day stretch, Seattle and King County health officials announced Monday evening.
The latest: The deaths — all ruled accidental — are the first fatalities that area health officials have connected to the historic heat wave.
Details: All three people who died due to likely heat exposure were men, per the King County Medical Examiner's Office. They include:
- A 64-year-old Seattle resident who died July 27, and a 65-year-old Issaquah resident, who died July 30, both of whom had underlying conditions related to alcoholism.
- A 77-year-old Seattle resident with a heart condition died on July 29.
Separately, all three drowning victims were male, including:
- A 22-year-old under the influence of drugs who drowned in Shoreline on July 28.
- A 22-year-old man who drowned on July in Seattle on July 29.
- A 67-man with diabetes who drowned in Seattle on July 31.
What health officials are saying: Because heat-related deaths aren't always readily found or confirmed, more could be reported in the coming days.
Details: At least 61 people visited area emergency rooms for heat-related illnesses between Tuesday and Friday last week; emergency room visits for Saturday and Sunday had yet to be tallied as of Monday evening.
Context: The Puget Sound Region had been under an "excessive heat warning" since Tuesday, July 26, with concerns that the temperatures could cause serious health risks.
- The six straight days with 90-plus degree weather were accompanied by hotter-than-normal low temperatures in the 60s, per the National Weather Service.
- Such elevated "high lows" can prove dangerous because people aren't able to find relief from the heat overnight — especially in Seattle, where most residents don't have air conditioning in their homes.
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