Increase in deaths “weather related”

in News · 07-08-2020 01:00:00 · 1 Comments

Portugal had two weeks in July with an exceptionally high number of deaths in the country, regardless of the Covid-19 pandemic, but the Directorate-General for Health (DGS) says this is a phenomenon “which is nothing new” and was due to the heat wave.

“We think that this variation in mortality is related to the weather”, said the director of the Directorate of Information and Analysis of DGS, Inês Fronteira, adding: “It is a phenomenon that worries but it is not new, neither at the country level nor at the level of what is happening in other countries”.

Inês Fronteira admitted that Covid-19 may have some indirect influence, not because of the lack of access to health care, but because it can cause other infections.

According to Inês Fronteira, the heatwave in July explain the increase in deaths in older people. Increases in mortality during heatwaves and cold waves are common, not only in Portugal but also across the rest of the world.

When asked if in the case of a new heatwave the number of deaths will tend to increase, Inês Fronteira said it would be normal if it does, because it has already happened in Portugal and it also happens in other countries. And especially among populations such as children, the elderly and people who are vulnerable in terms of health.


I don´t know if increased humidity during the warm seasons makes the death rate higher. What i am sure of is that in the last years we´ve had humidity during the hot months, whereas before those months used to be dry/drier(Lisbon being my reference). Humidity and heat are a v. unpleasant combination, as the humidity traps the heat at the surface of the skin, making the cooling-perspiration process less effective than heat with lower humidity(before: 30-40% humidity, now 50-70%; i feel the difference).

By guida from Lisbon on 07-08-2020 08:00
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