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A fan blows a cornet behind a Colombian flag prior to 2018 World Cup qualifying soccer match between Colombia and Ecuador at the Atahualpa Olympic Stadium in Quito, Ecuador, Tuesday, March 28, 2017. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

Colombian city urges a break from sex to fight heat wave

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BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Health officials in one Colombian coastal city have a controversial recommendation for residents trying to stay cool during an intense heat wave: Take a break from sex.

Santa Marta health secretary Julio Salas sparked a mix of laughter and disbelief this week when he urged residents of the Caribbean tourist mecca to refrain from sex during the day. It's on a list of recommendations, such as staying hydrated and wearing loose clothing.

The American Hearth Association says sex is considered only a moderate physical activity, as much of a strain on the heart as walking up two flights of stairs.

Temperatures in Santa Marta have soared past 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) and Salas says medical facilities have been overwhelmed with patients complaining of symptoms of heat stroke.

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