BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Much of the eastern part of the U.S. — including Maryland — is under an excessive heat advisory through the weekend as temperatures are expected to go above 100 degrees.

Heat index potentials could be up to 115 degrees.

“I urge all Marylanders to take precautions during this excessive heat,” said MDH Secretary Robert R. Neall. “Be mindful of the potential for heat-related illness and take precautions to stay hydrated. Do whatever you can to help keep yourself cool and if necessary, move to a cooling center.”

Gov. Larry Hogan also chimed in urging Marylanders to take every precaution to prevent getting ill.

Excessive heat can cause serious health issues — including heatstroke.

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While anyone can be the victim of heat-related illness, the highest risk groups include people under age 5 or over age 65, people with chronic illnesses, people taking certain medications and those who are exercising or working outdoors.

Heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke are common health issues associated with excessive heat. Symptoms of heat cramps include:

  • Muscle pain/spasms, caused by loss of water and salt from heavy sweating

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

  • Dehydration
  • Cool, moist, pale or flushed skin
  • Extreme weakness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea, headache and possible vomiting or fainting

Symptoms of heat stroke include:

  • Body temperature of more than 105 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Dry, red skin
  • Rapid, weak pulse
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Convulsions
  • Disorientation
  • Delirium
  • Coma

MDH encourages residents to use the following tips to help cope with excessive heat if they must be outside:

  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine and overly-sweetened beverages
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothing
  • Avoid direct sunlight and wear sunscreen; stay in the shade when possible
  • Avoid salt tablets, unless advised to take them by a doctor
  • Schedule physical activity in the morning or evening when it’s cooler and take short breaks if necessary

Baltimore is still under a Code Red heat alert until Sunday.

To find a list of cooling centers, click here.

Stay up-to-date with the latest forecast by downloading the WJZ weather app.

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