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COVID-19 : Filomena gives way to a cold wave: basic tips against low temperatures

Spain is covered with snow and freezes with cold. We are experiencing an unusual weather situation in a vast majority of the national territory as a result of the storm Filomena, which has caused real damage especially in the central area of ​​the country. Although the historic snowfalls will subside, the low temperatures are here to stay.

Not in vain, the abundant snow that has fallen in recent days will take a long time to disappear, which, together with the predominance of clear skies and the absence of winds, will cause them to occur Very intense frosts, of the order of -10 to -15ºC, in large areas of the interior of the peninsula, with maximum temperatures that will hardly exceed 5ºC.

At this point, the intense cold can seriously affect our health so it is necessary that mainly the elderly people, newborns (their parents), people without resources or in a precarious situation, people with acute or chronic diseases, outdoor workers or those involved in sports, take extreme precautions.

Cold wave: basic recommendations

For this reason we share a series of basic recommendations and tips to try to counteract the low temperatures on the basis that the most prudent thing is to stay at home.

Limit outdoor activities, especially if you belong to a risk group. Bundle up warmly and avoid prolonged exposure to cold. Pay special attention to areas of the body such as the head, neck, hands and feet. Make hot meals that provide the necessary energy. Consume hot beverages that help maintain body temperature. Carefully review the state of the electrical installation to prevent dangerous situations that may cause a fire hazard, as with gas stoves or wood fireplaces.

What to do in case of frostbite and hypothermia?

Extreme cold can cause two direct effects: frostbite and hypothermia. Therefore, it is convenient to pay attention to any symptoms that make us suspect that something is not going well.

Freezing

In the case of superficial frostbite, which mainly affects the cheeks, ears and fingers, the most frequent symptoms are redness of the skin, tingling and a painful sensation of itching or burning. If you suffer deep frostbite, both the skin and the muscles or bones freeze and the symptoms are transformation of the hard and white skin, which could lead to ulcers or gangrene. To protect a person who is a victim of frostbite, they should be moved to a warm place, removed any tight clothing and damp clothing, dried and sheltered. If close medical help is available, the affected areas must be wrapped with sterile compresses, without forgetting to separate the affected fingers and toes, and take the affected person to an emergency point. In case you do not have close medical help, you have to immerse the affected areas in warm water (not hot) or put hot cloths on the affected areas of the ears, nose, cheeks for 20 or 30 minutes. The recommended water temperature is around 38 or 40 degrees.

Hypothermia

Hypothermia occurs when the body loses more heat than it can generate, usually caused by prolonged exposure to cold. As a person becomes hypothermic, thinking and moving skills are often slowly lost. Symptoms of hypothermia are confusion, drowsiness, weakness and loss of coordination, decreased breathing rate and heart rate. If symptoms of hypothermia occur, such as confusion or changes in mental state, Health reminds that you must call the emergency number 112.