Health hazards of thunderstorms, from the Harvard Health Letter

Summer thunderstorms are great theater—sky-spanning fireworks followed by crackling, crashing booms. But thunderstorms are also linked to some negative effects on health, from breathing disturbances to heart problems, reports the August 2010 issue of the Harvard Health Letter.

Lightning. Getting hit by lightning isn't as deadly as you might think. In fact, many people survive this rare event, although their injuries can be serious. Direct strikes aren't the only danger. The current from lightning can travel through the ground to a person standing nearby. Lightning can also "splash" from one person to another or from a tree to a person. Lightning can even be dangerous to people inside a building who touch lightning-charged plumbing or telephone wiring. Survivors of lightning-related injuries may end up with neurological and eye problems.

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