Death toll from heat reaches 18 in St. Louis area

Thursday, July 12, 2012 | 11:36 a.m. CDT; updated 1:07 p.m. CDT, Thursday, July 12, 2012

ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis-area death toll from the heat continues to rise.

Health officials say 18 deaths in the St. Louis region are now blamed on the recent heat wave. Four more deaths were confirmed Wednesday in the city, two 43-year-old men, and two in their 70s.

Fourteen of the 18 deaths have occurred in St. Louis. Mayor Francis Slay on Wednesday announced an effort to increase public education efforts to prevent illness and death in extreme weather.

Two other deaths occurred in St. Louis County and two in Madison County, Ill.

Temperatures have cooled slightly this week after 10 straight days of 100-degree weather, but temperatures are expected to climb back into the upper 90s next week.

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