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Summer heat, and risk of heat stroke comes to the area early

Sunday - 5/27/2012, 12:09pm  ET

Hank Silverberg, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer, but it usually doesn't come with summer-like temperatures.

With temperatures expected to be near 90 degrees and very high humidity, heat stroke becomes an issue for everyone who spends time outdoors.

The keyword for this weekend is "hydration."

"It's actually when it become suddenly hot that you are more likely going to get these kind of symptoms, because your body doesn't have a chance to acclimate to it," says Dr. Rahul Bhat, an emergency room physician at MedStar Washington Hospital Center.

He says feeling very hot and a great deal of sweating is the first sign of heat stroke. Later signs are confusion, headaches, dizziness, and nausea.

Drinking lots of water can help prevent heat stroke, but you also need electrolytes found in sports drinks like Gatorade that add salt content.

If you or someone around you has symptoms get them indoors to a cool place, or in severe cases to medical care.

Bhat says Washington Hospital Center has treated some cases this weekend.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)