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Agency: 440 sought hospital care for heat illness: Wichita, KS USA
WICHITA | This summer’s unrelenting heat has contributed to the deaths of at least three people in Kansas and sent more than 440 to hospitals with temperature-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment said this week.


The updated figures are based on death certificates recorded at the agency’s Office of Vital Statistics and voluntary reporting by hospitals and emergency departments, KDHE spokeswoman Miranda Myrick said in an email Tuesday.

The agency urged people to remain indoors in air conditioning as much as possible and stay in the shade if they go outside. For those without air conditioning at home, it suggested spending at least two hours a day in an air-conditioned mall, library or other public place. Health officials also urged people to drink water regularly, even if they are not thirsty.


Meanwhile, the heat wave gripping Kansas also has taken a rising toll on livestock.

Lee Seder, manager of Central Kansas Rendering Inc. in Great Bend said the number of cattle deaths this summer still do not come close to the 2,000 head of cattle that died during a three-day period last summer when the heat combined with high humidity. Even though this summer’s heat wave has lasted much longer, low humidity has helped keep cattle deaths down.

Livestock producers have also since installed sprinklers and other management practices to cut down on losses during the heat.

Seder said his company picked up 148 dead cattle on Monday, up from the usual 60 on a more typical Monday. His business usually takes Sundays off, but he is considering operating every day during this heat wave.

About 75 percent of the animals that his company picked up Monday had decomposed so quickly in the heat that they were falling apart as they were being loaded, Seder said.

In drought-plagued southwest Kansas, livestock deaths from the heat were probably up 25 percent this past month from last year, said Sherry Gourdin, owner of Gourdin By-Products.

Last year at this time, Gourdin’s rendering company in Moscow was picking up about 50 head of dead cattle a day, seven days a week in southwest Kansas. It is now picking up between 75 and 100 cattle a day, seven days a week.

“It has been crazy,” she said. “We were shocked.”

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Agency: 440 sought hospital care for heat illness: Wichita, KS USA
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