3.5 percent more deaths during last June's heatwave

Last June's heatwave triggered an early death for over a hundred people, figures supplied by the health organisation Sciensano show. The good news is that the figures are down compared to the past. 

The heatwave we experienced last June (we had temperatures of over 30 degrees Celsius in the last week of June) resulted in the early death of 102 people. This means that during that heat wave, 102 more persons passed away than could be expected under normal conditions.

The Belgian Health Institute Sciensano calculated that this equals a 3.5 percent increase. Nathalie Bossuyt of Sciensano says that the number of victims is lower than 15 years ago, when the figure was at 10 percent or more. This is probably because people are being informed better. However, air pollution levels and the previous influenza season also play a role. 

June's heat wave mostly hit 65- to 84-year-olds, often people who are weak as they are nursing another disease or illness. There are no figures yet about the most recent heat wave, at the end of July.