Harmattan: Health expert advises sickle cell patients to keep warm

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Agency Reporter
The Senior Registrar of Pulmonology Unit at the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), Dr Chung-Gyang Shedrack, has advised sickle cell patients to keep themselves warm during the current harmattan cold.

Shedrack, who gave the advice on Sunday in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jos, the Plateau State capital, also alerted the residents to a likely increase in skin infections during the inclement weather.

NAN reports that temperature in the “Tin City” has dropped to as low as 6.7 degrees Celsius, with residents apprehensive that the weather might worsen.

Dr Shedrack explained that patients who have sickle cell and are anaemic are likely to experience worse condition during the unfriendly weather.

“Sickle cell patients are prone to crisis in this period of cold. They will have to stay very warm, take a lot of fluid, go for medical checks with their doctor and take medications adequately so that they do not have worsening of crisis,” he said.

Read Also: Staying safe during harmattan
He also advised the public to avoid dusty environment and take lozenges, such as Strepsils, Tom Tom and menthol, to suppress coughs, lubricate and soothe irritated tissues of the throat.

The medical expert said there has been a worsening or an increase in prevalence in skin infections, advising that there is need to take lots of water to protect the skin.

The Respiratory Tract physician also said cold has harmful effects on the body, especially the respiratory system, which leads to ailments, such as cough, asthma, upper airways infections from viruses, bacteria, such as coryza, which is common cold.

“We can have a provocation of asthma, hypersensitivity of the airwaves too, which is close to asthma; the cardiovascular system can also have some form of arrhythmia, which is abnormal beating of the heart. You can have a slowing of the heart, nose and ear infections,” he said.

NAN also reports that as the cold bites harder, Akara sellers and tea vendors are making brisk business in the city as residents throng their various selling points to buy the hot stuff to keep themselves warm.

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