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Brits warned as Spain issues new system for tourists that could save your life

Brits warned as Spain issues new system for tourists that could save your life

Spain has issued its 2024 National Plan for Preventive Actions on the effects of excess temperatures on health

A new travel system could mean the difference between life and death for those visiting Spain this summer, with tourists and locals alike urged to keep themselves updates.

And if you think we're exaggerating, sadly we're not.

Since 2017, Spain has suffered 22,000 heat-related deaths; that is almost 3,000 people every year due to complications brought on as a result of extreme heat.

Recent years has seen central Europe deal with extreme temperatures across the continent, with numerous locations hitting the 50 degrees Celsius mark.

In the last week, Dr Michael Mosely and at least four other tourists have tragically lost their lives while visiting the Greek island of Crete which has been dealing with a widespread heatwave with some told to stay inside between 11am and 3pm.

To try and tackle the issue in Spain - with millions of Brits set to fly there in the coming months - and across the Canary and Balearic islands, the Spanish government has produced its 2024 National Plan for Preventive Actions on the effects of excess temperatures on health.

One vital part to this is a new, state-of-the-art heat alert map showing a localised breakdown of Spain and which areas are deemed to be at risk as you check it with daily updates on 182 zones across the country.

A woman taking shade using an umbrella in Madrid during the heatwave of the 2023 summer (Bilbao/Europa Press via Getty Images)
A woman taking shade using an umbrella in Madrid during the heatwave of the 2023 summer (Bilbao/Europa Press via Getty Images)

It comes as Copernicus, the EU's global warming monitoring body, has recorded the 11th consecutive warmest month around the world. In other words, every month since June 2023 until April 2024 has been the hottest respective month, ever.

A normal healthy individual can deal with temporary changes to their temperature of around three degrees Celsius without their physical or mental state reacting.

But any more than that and a physiological defence reaction occurs, with older people and children more sensitive to these temperature changes.

The Spanish Ministry for Health says: "Exposure to high ambient temperatures can cause an insufficient response of the human thermoregulatory system. Excessive heat can alter our vital functions if the human body is not able to compensate for variations in body temperature.

Stay hydrated, seek shade (Miguel Pereira/Getty Images)
Stay hydrated, seek shade (Miguel Pereira/Getty Images)

"A very high temperature produces loss of water and electrolytes that are necessary for the normal functioning of the different organs. In some people with certain chronic diseases, undergoing certain medical treatments and with disabilities that limit their autonomy, these thermoregulation mechanisms may be decompensated.

"From a biological approach, exposure to excessive temperatures can cause health problems such as cramps, dehydration, heat stroke, heat stroke with multi-organ problems that can include symptoms such as unsteady gait, seizures and even coma.

"The impact of exposure to excessive heat is influenced by physiological aging and underlying diseases."

Areas of Spain are known for issuing warning to stay in the shade between 11am and 3pm (Lorena Sopena/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Areas of Spain are known for issuing warning to stay in the shade between 11am and 3pm (Lorena Sopena/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The map splits Spain in to 52 regions, so you can accurately know if the area you're on holiday in presents a danger to your health.

There are four risk levels - Level 0: no risk; Level 1: low risk; Level 2: medium risk; and Level 3: high risk. Every region is given a daily risk rating as well as a five day forecast, so you can plan if travelling.

Time to bookmark the map if you're heading to Spain this summer and give it a check over your morning espresso. You'd nothing to lose and plenty to gain.

Featured Image Credit: Lorena Sopena/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images/CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP via Getty Images

Topics: Europe, Holiday, Hacks, World News, UK News, Travel