[Source: Guardian Unlimited.co.uk, View Original Article. 7/10/10, extract, edited.]
Fears for elderly and vulnerable as sharp rise in fatalities is linked to hot weather
Britain's heatwave could have caused a sharp rise in deaths over the past two weeks, health officials warned today.
The Health Protection Agency (HPA) said its analysis of government data on death rates in June or July over the past decade revealed there had been several hundred "excess deaths" in the past two weeks, which could be due to the heat.
"Although these are very preliminary data, experts suggest that the hot weather may have been the cause for some of the increase," a HPA spokesman said.
Temperatures hit 31.7C (89.1F) in Gravesend, Kent, yesterday – the highest in the UK this year. Similar conditions are expected today, with parts of south-east England expected to reach at least 31C.
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