Cancer Council, Queensland Health issue urgent warning as heatwave hits its peak

Cancer Council and Queensland Health have issued an urgent health warning for Queenslanders as the state’s heatwave heads into peak temperatures today and tomorrow.

Severe to extreme temperatures are expected across Queensland today and Saturday, reaching tops of 36 in Brisbane, and up to 40 degrees in some parts of the state.

Media are invited for filming, photographs and interview opportunities:
What: CCQ and QH issue urgent warning as Queensland heatwave hits its peak
Where: Streets Beach, South Bank (South Bank has advised media need to organise their own street parking).
When: Friday January 13, 10am
Who: Cancer Council spokesperson Katie Clift, Dr Mark Elcock – Executive Director, Aeromedical Retrieval Services and Disaster Management Branch, Queensland Health

Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift warned Queenslanders to continue taking every precaution for their health ahead of the heatwave’s expected peak.

“Queenslanders must heed the dangers of scorching temperatures and take sun protective measures during this heatwave,” Ms Clift said.

“Where possible, people should avoid sun exposure – especially when the UV Index is three or above, from about 7:30am over the next few days.

“We’re urging Queenslanders to follow all five recommended sun protective behaviours – Slip on protective clothing, Slop on minimum SPF30 broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen, Slap on a broad-brimmed hat, Seek shade and Slide on wrap-around sunnies when outdoors.

“Keep yourself and your family cool – stay in air-conditioning, drink as much water as possible and schedule outdoor activities later in the day, when the UV Index falls below three.

“Queenslanders have endured a few days of extreme heat – it’s important we don’t become complacent and continue to protect ourselves and others in soaring temperatures.”

Queensland Health Executive Director Dr Mark Elcock said anybody could be at risk of falling ill as a result of the prolonged hot spell but warned infants, the elderly, pregnant and breastfeeding women, obese people and people with some pre-existing medical conditions were particularly vulnerable.

“Be alert to the symptoms of heat-related illnesses which may include heat rash, muscle cramps, heavy sweating, paleness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting or fainting,” he said.

“If heat stroke is suspected, people should seek urgent medical treatment.”

Dr Elcock said Queensland Health had in place a well-practised plan to respond to the heatwave and was working closely with the Bureau of Meteorology to identify the regions most at risk.

“Queensland Health will scale its activities accordingly and provide advice and resources to best support Queensland Ambulance Service and local hospital and health services in affected regions, particularly if the event leads to an increase in patients,” he said.

For more advice by Queensland Health on staying healthy during the heat, visit, or

More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at or Cancer Council’s 13 11 20.

For more information or interviews, please contact:
Katie Clift,
Executive Manager,
Media and Spokesperson,
Cancer Council Queensland
Phone: (07) 3634 5372
Mobile: 0409 001 171