Several Bibb deaths blamed on summer heat; doctors urge residents to stay cool

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Bibb County’s coroner says he thinks several deaths in the last week may be because of the heat in Middle Georgia. Doctors are recommending residents to stay cool and hydrated and if you ever feel as if there’s a problem, don’t hesitate to call 911.

Unless you’ve been under a rock, or a bench, you know it’s hot.

"I wear a hat, slather up with sunscreen before I get in the water. So yeah we’re careful," one resident said.

With temperatures getting into the hundreds, the sweltering heat is bringing some people to the lake to stay cool.

That’s what doctors want you to do, especially since in the last week, Bibb County’s Coroner Leon Jones says several people died for what he thinks was caused by the heat.

"People with chronic problems such as diabetes or high blood pressure or chronic medication, then those people need to be especially careful," Dr. Dennis Holder, at the Medical Center, Navicent Health, said.

He says it may seem like common sense, but doctors say if you get too hot, get yourself as cool as possible whether that’s finding a cold drink or getting some shade.

"Stay hydrated. Stay cool and take breaks," Holder said. "They can be very serious and there are certain precautions that people need to take. If at all possible if you have to be outside, do your work in the mornings or the evenings."

Doctors say it’s important to stay alert.

"Drink fluids. Try to avoid alcoholic beverages and drinks real high in sugar concentration," Holder said.

If you or someone you know feels dizzy or faint, act quickly.

"Don’t ever give someone who is unconscious or confused something to drink. You can actually cause more harm with that," Holder said.

Residents agree, and say they think it’s important to be responsible to be in the sun.

"There are things that are too easy to do to be there that are too easy. Drink water, get under a fan, get out of the direct sun," Holder said.

Doctors say don’t hesitate to call 911 if you’re feeling light headed or start vomiting when it’s hot outside. The coroner says it’s important to check on neighbors especially if they’re elderly.

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(478) 745-4141 ext. 311 Skyler joined the 41 NBC News Team in April 2013. He anchors the news at 6 p.m. and also covers stories going on throughout the day. He was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Stone Mountain, Georgia, a suburb right outside of Atlanta. Before heading to Middle Georgia, Skyler worked as a stage manager for WSB- TV in Atlanta. Skyler graduated from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Georgia in 2011 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Multimedia Communication. He went to school initially to be an architect, but one step inside of the student radio station changed everything. While at Georgia Southern, he was exposed to radio and television and became the Program Director of the student radio station and was a part of a team that received a Southeast Regional student Emmy for their work on the program "Inside Georgia Southern Football." Skyler anchored and reported for Georgia Southern University's "Eagle News." There he covered the 2010 midterm elections live as well as reported on stories in the community. In the Spring 2012, Skyler interned for Clear Channel in Los Angeles, California. Skyler is a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated. In his free time, you can find Skyler watching the latest movies and reading up on all things in Hollywood. He also loves spending time with his family and friends and finding inspirational quotes. He loves telling stories about politics, tax dollars at work in the community, and highlighting people and business who don’t normally get the spotlight. If you have any story ideas, email Skyler at shenry@41nbc.com.