The heavy toll in human lives claimed by heat waves is increasingly
evident in the medical literature. During the heat wave of 1980 in St Louis
and Kansas City, Mo, 308 persons more than the number expected to die during
that period lost their lives. At the worst of the heat wave, daily mortality
in St. Louis increased to 3 times the usual rate.1
More recently, in the summer of 1995 in Chicago, Ill, severe heat-related
mortality claimed more than 700 victims, and daily mortality peaked at more
than 5 times the usual rate.2
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