21. Recent Heat-related Deaths in Wisconsin
Heat-related deaths and sicknesses are likely to become much more commonplace in the U.S. and the rest of world as a consequence of increased global warming, primarily caused by human activities. Following are six deaths that have been reported by the news media in Wisconsin:
Milwaukee authorities are reporting a fourth and fifth suspected heat-related death. The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office says the latest victims are a 64-year-old woman, who died early Saturday, and a 69-year-old man who died Friday.
They said the woman developed breathing problems in her Milwaukee home, where the air temperature was 93 degrees. Her body temperature was 110 degrees. She had an air conditioner, but was unable to install it on her own. All the windows in her home were closed, and the family never opened them because they feared shots being fired in the neighborhood. They said the man was admitted to St. Joseph’s Hospital from a home in Milwaukee on Thursday with a body temperature of 102 degrees and died Friday night.
The bodies of two of the other dead men, ages 71 and 79, were found in separate houses Friday. In both cases, the medical examiner said the houses were sealed with no fans on and no air conditioning on in the house. The fifth victim is a 44-year-old man who was found unresponsive in an alley Wednesday evening in Milwaukee and pronounced dead in an intensive-care unit Thursday.
Finally, the death of a two-year old boy found by a deputy in the trunk of a car on his parents’ property near Centuria, Wisconsin, has been confirmed to be heat-related. Preliminary autopsy results released Friday said the boy likely died of hyperthermia — a condition in which the body temperature spikes from high and prolonged heat.
The National Weather Service says Milwaukee has recorded four consecutive days of highs in the mid-90s this week, with the “heat index” (factors in humidity) registering more than 100 degrees Fehrenhei.