He­bei to de­sign in­dex that links ill­ness to weather

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By ZHANG YU in Shi­ji­azhuang zhangyu1@chi­nadaily.com.cn

He­bei will link weather fore­casts with health risks, a move to in­form peo­ple who are sen­si­tive to changes in the weather so that they can take pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sures, au­thor­i­ties said.

“We are do­ing re­search into the in­flu­ence of me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal con­di­tions on dis­eases and are set­ting up a data­base of in­for­ma­tion on dis­eases that can be more eas­ily caused due to weather changes,” said Zhang Zhongjie, head of a ser­vice cen­ter at He­bei Pro­vin­cial Me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal Bureau.

The in­dex will list the pos­si­bil­ity of weather con­di­tions caus­ing var­i­ous ill­nesses such as res­pi­ra­tory dis­eases or skin al­ler­gies.

They will be gen­er­ated based on big data from lo­cal en­vi­ron­men­tal and­me­te­o­ro­log­i­cal con­di­tions, and re­cent pat­terns in dis­eases, Zhang said.

Ac­cord­ing to Zhang, He­bei has been study­ing the in­flu­ence of air pol­lu­tion on pub­lic health since last year.

“Peo­ple are start­ing to pay at­ten­tion to the weather and air, be­cause air pol­lu­tion in re­cent years has greatly af­fected their lives,” he added.

DingXiao, a young mother in Shi­ji­azhuang who has a 10-month-old son, com­plained about this winter’s weather and smoggy air con­di­tions.

“I have be­come a fre­quent vis­i­tor to hos­pi­tals be­cause my son al­ways catches a cold or gets a bad cough when the

I have be­come a fre­quent vis­i­tor to hos­pi­tals be­cause my son al­ways catches a cold or gets a bad cough when the weather is bad.”

weather is bad,” Ding said, adding that many moth­ers are like her.

Peo­ple in the prov­ince, which has been se­verely hit by air pol­lu­tion in re­cent years, have com­plained about lo­cal weather.

“Af­ter all, it is their health that peo­ple are wor­ry­ing about, rather than just the en­vi­ron­ment,” said Gao Yu, a doc­tor at the Chil­dren’s Hos­pi­tal ofHe­bei prov­ince.

Gao said it’s nec­es­sary and use­ful to in­form peo­ple of the spe­cific weather in­dex in ad­vance.

“Peo­ple need to know when bad weather is com­ing and how bad it is, just as they need the air qual­ity in­dex, through which peo­ple can know if the air out­side is good or not and can de­cide ac­cord­ingly whether to do out­side ac­tiv­i­ties or whether to wear face masks,” Gao said.

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