Why extreme temperature swings have you feeling under the weather

The elderly, young children and those with previously existing conditions are at the greatest risk of getting sick due to the weather

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SALEM, Ohio (WKBN) – Friday’s high temperature will be in the lower 50s but by Saturday, the high will only reach about 20 degrees. That swing in temperature could have you making a trip to the doctor.

Just a week ago, we saw snow and subzero temperatures in the Valley. Fast forward a week later, and people are out at Mill Creek Park, enjoying the spring-like weather.

What those people might not know is how the extreme change is affecting their health.

“A change in the pressure or a change in the temperature can really flare up people’s lungs, people’s sinuses,” said Dr. Mike Sevilla, with the Family Practice Center of Salem.

He said the elderly and young children are at the greatest risk of getting sick due to the weather.

“Kids sometimes, they don’t layer as much. They don’t wear their coats. It sets them up for illnesses, such as coughs, and colds, and influenza and strep throat. So those types of temperature changes can really affect the young and the old.”

Both of those groups are also more likely to get hypothermia or frostbite.

Medical experts say people with previously existing health conditions are also at a higher risk of being affected by extreme changes in weather.

“Especially when it gets colder, I get more concerned about my patients who have chronic medical problems, like heart disease and lung disease,” Sevilla said.

He said there are several easy steps you can follow to help prevent getting sick while we’re experiencing roller coaster weather.

“Careful handwashing to help prevent the spread of illnesses, recognizing those illnesses early, getting it treated early, starting your over-the-counter medicines or getting in to the doctor.”

It’s also important to remember that if you’re planning to go outdoors on a warmer day in the middle of winter, it’s still winter. You want to layer up and dress appropriately if you’re heading outside.

WKBN is your source for the Valley’s latest weather information. Download our app for Apple and Android devices and sign up for weather text alerts.


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