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Mishmash of how U.S. heat deaths are counted complicates efforts to keep people safe as Earth warms

Postal worker Eugene Gates Jr. was delivering mail in the suffocating Dallas heat this summer when he collapsed in a homeowner’s yard and was taken to a hospital, where he died.

Carla Gates said she’s sure heat was a factor in her 66-year-old husband’s death, even though she’s still waiting for the autopsy report. When Eugene Gates died on June 20, the temperature was 98 degrees Fahrenheit (36.6 Celsius) and the heat index, which also considers humidity, had soared over 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43.3 Celsius).

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