Harmattan:Medical expert advises sickle cell patients to keep warm, alerts on increase in skin infections




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

Shedrack, who gave the advice in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jos on Sunday, also alerted the residents on 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 said patients who suffered from sickle cell and were anaemic were likely to experience worsening of their 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.

He also advised the public to avoid dusty environment and also 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 was worsening or an increase in prevelance in skin infections , advising that there was need to take lots of water to protect the skin.

The Respiratory Tract physician also said that cold had harmful effects on the body,especially the respiratory system which led 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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