Local News


Why are so many Nevada residents dying of heat-related ailments?

Posted at 5:43 PM, Jun 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-26 21:42:52-04

The excessive heat and record high temperatures continue to put you and your loved ones at risk. This month alone, there have been five heat-related deaths in Southern Nevada. 

Contact 13 looks into why so many Nevadans die in the summer heat.

Because heat kills more people in the United States than any other type of weather on average, killing over 130 people every year. 

But we've uncovered some startling numbers showing more people die in Nevada's heat than we originally thought.

The National Weather Service reports, for the past four years, Nevada has had far more heat-related fatalities than any other state. They say 50 people died last year in Nevada compared to only nine in neighboring Arizona where summer temperatures are even higher. 

But Contact 13 just obtained data from Nevada's Department of Health and Human Services which shows 76 Nevada residents died last year from the heat. All but of four of those were in Clark County. 

So who's dying? Where? And why? According to the National Weather Service, half of Nevada's deaths are in regular houses.

And the state's numbers don't count tourists. 

We reached out to the Southern Nevada Health District, but they couldn't explain why so many die here and they want to know more about the numbers.

"I definitely think we can look into these numbers," says Jessica Johnson with the Southern Nevada Health District.  "Particularly if different data sources are reporting different rates. My understanding is that depending on how you calculate a rate, can give you a different result and I would want to look specifically into that ... for the numbers from the National Weather Service and CDC."

The Health District reminds all of us to stay indoors as much as possible when it's this hot and drink plenty of water.