US unveils 1st dashboard tracking heat-related illnesses

With hospitals reporting packed emergency rooms and halted surgeries as parts of the nation swelter, the HHS launched the first national dashboard to track heat-related illnesses Aug. 9. 

HHS worked with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to launch the portal, which is called the Heat-Related Illness EMS Activation Surveillance Dashboard or EMS HeatTracker. It maps emergency medical services responses to heat-related illness across the nation. 

The new tool can help local public health officials choose where to implement heat mitigation strategies, HHS said in a news release, as climate change increases the frequency of extreme heat. Nearly 60 million people are in areas with heat alerts as of Aug. 9, according to the dashboard.

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