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HHS, NHTSA partner on tracking tool for heat-related illness

Photo: Department of Health and Human Services

Washington — A map showing emergency medical services responses to heat-related illnesses nationwide is part of a new online information portal from the Department of Health and Human Services.

The Heat-Related Illness EMS Activation Surveillance Dashboard, or EMS HeatTracker, was created in partnership with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

It displays heat-related EMS activations at national, state and county levels and breaks down patient data by age, race, gender and location.

“Existing data on heat-related deaths doesn’t shed light on where people actually fall ill,” John Balbus, acting director of HHS’ Office of Climate Change and Health Equity, said in a press release. “This new dashboard makes it possible to see where the needs are greatest, plan for the future and save lives.”

Extreme heat causes the deaths of more than 600 people in the United States annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The tool is also available at heat.gov.

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