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Cold weather? Here are the benefits

Cold weather has always been associated with a number of health problems, ranging from flu, sore throat, asthma, cold sores to dry skin.

But cold weather, which is being witnessed in various parts of Kenya due to ongoing rains, experts say, has some health benefits.

Studies have shown that colder temperatures help people think clearly. People perform tasks better when the room temperature is set at a cooler setting than a warmer one.

Researchers have also established that several diseases and viruses are more prevalent in warmer temperatures as compared to colder ones.

For instance, temperature affects the potential spread of the virus through each stage in the life cycle of the mosquito responsible for malaria.

Temperatures below 20°C reduce or prevent mosquito eggs from hatching, according to health expert Nikhil Manglik, CEO eMediHealth, an online health information site.

“Mosquito-borne diseases like malaria, dengue fever among other are less prevalent during cold weather as mosquitoes hibernate during this time,” he told Nairobi News in an interview.

HYPOTHERMIA

According experts, people’s immunity system tend to be stronger during cold weather. Human immune system can be activated when exposed to the cold, and this enhances someone’s ability to fight infections.

“Cold weather makes people fall asleep faster compared to warm one. This is because the body’s temp naturally drops when you’re trying to sleep; this process can take up to two hours in the warmer weather,” says Manglik.

However, doctors warn that when the body is exposed to extreme cold for a long time there are risks of developing hypothermia.

Hypothermia or abnormally low body temperature, is a dangerous condition that can occur when a person is exposed to extremely cold temperatures.

Body temperature that is too low affects the brain, making the victim unable to think clearly or move well. This makes hypothermia especially dangerous, because a person may not know that it’s happening, become confused, and won’t be able to do anything about it.

Warnings signs of hypothermia include, shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss and slurred speech drowsiness.