ST. CLOUD -- With the excessive heat warning in affect until Friday, local health officials want you to take extra precautions while outdoors.

Temperatures are expected in the 90s with high humidity and heat indices up to 110.

St. Cloud Hospital Injury Prevention Specialist Melissa Hjelle says often times we ignore the warning signs of heat-related illnesses because of our busy schedules.

"We're working outdoors, or having a fun activity outside and we get so wrapped up in our event we don't take the time to step aside, cool our bodies down in the shade and drink water," says Hjelle.

The two most common heat-related illnesses are heat-exhaustion and heat-stroke.

Hjelle says muscle cramping is the first warning sign of heat-exhaustion and to immediately seek shelter before symptoms worsen.

"If you start feeling that, get yourself into cooler temperatures and monitor your symptoms. If it starts to get worse that's where we have the concern of heat-stroke and we want you to seek medical attention," says Hjelle.

Hjelle says it's not uncommon to have 8-10 people in the emergency room from a heat-related illness during a strong heatwave.

To prevent yourself and your pets from feeling the effects of the heat, it's important to drink plenty of water throughout the day and stay in an air-conditioned environment.

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