Extreme cold can be dangerous

Written by Matt Paul, Reporter/Producer | Jan 7, 2014 4:00 AM

(Harrisburg) -- Blustery conditions are expected to exacerbate the frigid temperatures forecasted to envelop the midstate over the next day or so, and experts say this type of cold can be life threatening.

As temperatures dip into the single digits, the most common cold-related problems are frostbite and hypothermia.

Pennsylvania Physician General Carrie DeLone says the warning signs for hypothermia include confusion, slurred speech and drowsiness.

"Hypothermia is especially dangerous as it affects your brain, making it difficult to think clearly and walk easily," she says, "and hypothermia happens much more easily if you're wet, so be especially careful if you're wet from wet snow, rain, sweat or you're in cold water."

DeLone urges those who must venture outdoors to prepare for the elements by wearing layers of clothing and covering as much exposed skin as possible.

She notes the cold can be especially dangerous for infants and the elderly.

The frigid air can also affect people with emphysema, or cause cold-induced asthma.

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