SAMBRIAL - A medical expert on Tuesday advised people to take precautionary measures against heat-related ailments as the number of heatstroke patients is increasing day by day, saying that it could prove to be fatal if not treated properly and promptly. A seminar on health was held in Civil Hospital where senior doctor Farah Kamran revealed that almost 60 per cent of the patients brought to the emergency during the current week were struck by gastroenteritis. Dr Farah said that susceptible individuals to heat stroke included infants and the old aged persons especially those suffering from heart, lungs and kidney diseases. Dehydration and exposure to sun are considered to be the major causes of heatstroke. She said symptoms of heatstroke include nausea, fatigue, vomiting, weakness, muscle cramps and dizziness. High body temperature, rapid pulse, hallucinations, and coma are among the more severe symptoms of heatstroke, she added. She advised people prone to heatstroke and dehydration to remain in shady areas during intense heat and drink a lot of water. Blistering heat has increased the sale of unhygienic drinks, which is raising serious health hazards to the citizens. She also advised the patients to rush to hospital as soon as they feel any heatstroke or gastro symptoms. Other than gastro and heatstroke, citizens were also suffering from migraine and food poisoning in the intense heat. She suggested the patients avoid drinking contaminated water and unhygienic food and drinks. Among the patients, a large number of people engaged in strenuous physical activities are included. Lack of potable drinking water is another of increasing number of gastro patients during the last a few days. Waseem, a gastro patient, said that lack of potable water forced him to depend on water provided by the Water and Sanitation Agency pipelines which might well contain contaminated water, criticising the government in this regard.