In search of the missing dead

4th May 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 3, 2007 (AFP) - First, the bad news: more than 6,000 people should have died in a 17-day heatwave that gripped France last July.

PARIS, May 3, 2007 (AFP) - First, the bad news: more than 6,000 people should have died in a 17-day heatwave that gripped France last July.

The good news: only 2,000 actually succumbed.

The dilemma was revealed in a study published on Thursday by France's National Institute for Health and Medical Research (Inserm) and the National Health Monitoring Institute (InVS).

According to their mathematical model of the French population, 6,452 "additional deaths" should have occurred in the July 11-28 scorcher.

But the recorded number of deaths above the norm was only 2,065.

The discrepancy is not the result of a cover-up, the agencies said.

They believe measures to help elderly and other vulnerable people cope with extreme heat had helped save many lives.

A heatwave in 2003 killed 14,800 people, triggering nationwide dismay at the lack of support for old people living alone and at risk of heat exhaustion.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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