Intense heat is heading to the Chicago area this week and a Cook County physician is encouraging people to play it safe during the hot weather.

Temperatures this week will continue to climb, with heat index values expected to reach up to 115 degrees on Wednesday and Thursday, that is the reason the National Weather Service issued an Excessive Heat warning and watch for Wednesday morning.

“It’s not just the heat, it’s the humidity, so pay attention to the heat index, it’s definitely something to take seriously,” said Dr. Michael Schindlbeck, Cook County Health Emergency Physician. “It can be life-threatening and deadly.”

The Cook County Health physician encourages people not to head outside during peak heat hours. According to Dr. Schindlbeck, staying hydrated and avoiding direct exposure to the sun are key to preventing heat stroke, fatigue and dizziness.

“Make sure you’re pushing fluids, take as many breaks as you can, just get out of the heat. Get inside the air-conditioning if you have that ability” Dr. Schindlbeck said.

An Excessive Heat Warning will be in effect from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday for the entire Chicago area. An Excessive Heat Watch will also be in effect from Wednesday evening into Thursday evening.