HEALTH authorities have issued dire warnings ahead of the weekend heatwave, saying playing sport in such temperatures is madness.
The mercury on the Border is expected to reach 42 degrees tomorrow, 43 at Wangaratta and 44 at Rutherglen.
There are similar temperatures on Sunday and again on Tuesday.
The weekend sees the continuation of the Margaret Court Cup in Albury and the resumption of cricket in Wangaratta.
Organisers of both are looking at their options to deal with the run of six days of 40-degree heat.
Albury-based director of public health Tracey Oakman said emergency departments and ambulance services would be geared for a spike in demand.
“There is evidence that a run of three days of 40 degrees or more sees more people in emergency departments, more call-outs for ambulances,” she said.
“The effects of heat stroke can be rapid and potentially fatal.
“Each year we see people die in these extreme weather events.
“Signs of heat-related illness include confusion, dizziness, fainting, nausea, vomiting, weakness, headaches and loss of sweating.
“People showing any of these signs should seek urgent medical attention through their GP or emergency department.”
Ms Oakman said she would not recommend playing sport.
“I would urge all sporting associations to review their hot weather policies, implement one if they don’t already have one in place,” she said.
Wangaratta District Cricket Association is expected to make a decision late this afternoon on whether its competition resumes tomorrow.
Ms Oakman said people on medication and the elderly were most at risk.
In high temperatures people may get dehydrated and their body can overheat leading to heat exhaustion or heatstroke; both needed urgent treatment, she said.
“During a heatwave, it is very important to stay in regular contact with your elderly friends, neighbours and relatives, and to look out for other vulnerable members of your community.
“If you have an elderly neighbour, check on them regularly.
“Some people on medications, too, can have difficulty regulating their body temperature and can be at risk.”