At least 17 deaths in Quebec attributed to heat

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"We go out to the paramedics, we go out to the hospitals and we ask them to make sure to identify any deaths they believe are related to heat and that allows us to intervene more quickly", Kaiser said.

In the USA, one woman reportedly died Saturday in Pennsylvania after going into cardiac arrest due to the heat, and a 30-year-old man collapsed while running a race in NY.

And two other deaths in Kansas City, Missouri are being investigated as possibly heat-related, CNN reported.

Heat warnings are issued when very high temperature or humidity conditions are expected to pose an elevated risk of heat illnesses, such as heat stroke or heat exhaustion.

The recent heat wave has plagued central Pennsylvania with highs well into the 90s.

As the heat wave continues, it's clear we expect the number of deaths attributable to the heat to rise.

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Drouin says the victims fit the profile of people authorities describe as at risk: those with chronic illness or mental-health problems, people who live alone and people without air conditioning at home.

Eleven people have died in the city as a result of the heat, according to a Quebec public health official.

Environment Canada said much of southern Ontario, including Toronto, also remains under a heat warning, with a humidex reading of 43 expected on Tuesday. The last one was in 2011 at eight days.

"What's more unique about this is the duration", said Kelly Hobelman, a meteorologist with Environment Canada. A cool down is expected by Friday with the passage of a cold front.

Last Thursday, the agency issued a heat warning for the Canada Day long weekend, calling the upcoming heat wave "the most significant heat event" Ontario has experienced in the last few years.

Canada Day was supposed to start out sunny in the morning, turning to a mix of sun and cloud in the afternoon, with a 30 per cent chance of showers. "And also keep in mind to make sure you don't leave any people or pets in your vehicle, as temperatures will rise dramatically within minutes".

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