6 Deaths Tied to High Temperatures in Riverside County, Health Officials Say

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At least six heat-related deaths have been reported in Riverside County this month, prompting health officials to issue a warning as temperatures were expected to spike again this week.

The six deaths occurred over a 10-day period, from July 7 to July 17, and the last two were announced Tuesday.

Three were reported in Hemet, including an 86-year-old woman and an 87-year-old man who were discovered deceased together inside a home on July 8, according to a news release from Riverside University Health System.

The other deaths were in Riverside, Indio and Bermuda Dunes, which is located near Palm Desert.

The deceased ranged in age from 37 to 91.

Officials confirmed the heat played a role in the deaths, though it appears at least four of the individuals also had underlying medical issues.

“The elderly and the very young are particularly vulnerable to heat, and those with medical issues even more so,” Dr. Cameron Kaiser, the Riverside County public health officer, said in the news release. “If they’re in your family or they’re your neighbors, check in on them and make sure they’re doing okay. Even short periods of time in high temperatures can kill.”

With the National Weather Service forecasting triple-digit temperatures for much of Southern California this week -- particularly in desert areas of Riverside County and the Coachella Valley  -- health officials are urging all residents and workers to avoid strenuous activities and limit time spent outside.

People can also beat the heat by going to one of the county's 50 cooling centers, where snacks, water and activities will be provided.

And anyone who is driving long distances in the region should ensure their vehicles are running properly before leaving and carry extra water with them.

Officials are also reminding motorists to never leave children, elderly or pets inside a parked car, even for brief periods of time.

Those who show any sign of heatstroke should immediately seek shelter in a cool place and hydrate; medical attention should be sought promptly if symptoms are severe or don't go away.

Symptoms to be on the lookout for include headache, dizziness, weakness or muscle pains, and nausea or vomiting, according to the release.

A list of cooling centers in Riverside County, as well as more tips to beat the heat, can be found here.

KTLA's Jennifer Thang contributed to this story. 

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