The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) advised the public to take extra caution against cold-related diseases Thursday.
|KCDC issued a cold-related illness advisory Thursday, urging the public to wear warm clothes, gloves, hat and mask as protection.|
According to the center, 245 people suffered various illnesses related to the freezing weather between Dec. 1 and Jan. 10.
Authorities said that of the 245 patients, hypothermia affected 194 people, followed by frostbite (39 people), pernio (two people) and other related diseases (10 people). It further revealed that the cause of the seven fatalities was hypothermia.
Hypothermia happens when the body loses heat faster than it can produce and leads to a dangerously low body temperature of below 35 degrees Celsius.
Those in their 60s suffered more from cold-related illnesses than any other age groups. Over the cited period, those in their 50s accounted for 19.6 percent of the total patients, while patients aged 65 and above accounted for 38.4 percent.
The agency advised extra caution to elderly patients suffering from chronic diseases --cardiovascular disease and diabetes and hypertension, among others – as the risk of hypothermia can increase as their bodies are more vulnerable to losing body temperature. It also pointed out that excessive physical activity may cause cardiovascular disease due to elevated blood pressure.
“People who suffer hypothermia should immediately go to the hospital,” the KCDC said in a statement. “Such conditions can be life-threatening if not treated properly.”
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