Several parts of north, central and south India are simmering with the maximum temperature breaching 35 to 40 degrees even in some parts of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand indicating heat wave to severe heat wave conditions in most parts of the country.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD), in its bulletin on Thursday, said “dust raising winds” are likely over parts of Rajasthan, South Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.

“The maximum temperature touches 47 degrees in some parts of Rajasthan during this time. We have noticed that the temperature in the foothills of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh are also 3 to 4 degrees above normal. Temperatures also increase before a western disturbance approaches,” said Charan Singh, senior scientist at IMD said.

With harsh summers come related health conditions.

Excessive loss of salt and minerals in this hot weather can cause the body to dehydrate severely.

Usually, the body sweats to maintain a normal temperature, however, in extremely hot weather, this mechanism does not work as well and the body feels exhausted even after slight exertion.

People who are above 60 years of age, young children, obese people and those with underlying medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes etc are at a higher risk of collapsing.

“This heat can be life-threatening in severe cases, especially among older persons, when the lost water is not replenished immediately,” said Dr AB Dey, head of geriatrics department, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

Doctors advise avoiding direct sun exposure, especially during peak hours.

“It is best to avoid the sun between 11 am and 4 pm. But if you must step out then drink at least a couple of glasses of water immediately before you leave home. Carry a water bottle and keep sipping a glass of water every hour. To replenish lost salts and minerals, take buttermilk, coconut water or lime water,” said Dr Rommel Tickoo, senior consultant, internal medicine, Max Super-specialty Hospital, Saket.