THOU­SANDS TO PER­ISH IN ICY DEATH BLAST

Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

WARN­ING: Dr Thomas Waite THOU­SANDS will die in the next week be­cause of the freez­ing cold, say pub­lic health bosses.

The gov­ern­ment has is­sued a warn­ing as a -15C three-week killer chill starts, with Bri­tain colder than the Arc­tic – thanks to a 1,500-mile wide ‘Scandinavian shiver’ air mass.

An Eng­land-wide Level 2 Gov­ern­ment cold weather health warn­ing is in place un­til at least Satur­day, for the 80% risk of tem­per­a­tures av­er­ag­ing be­low 2C for 48 hours or longer.

The alert or­dered hospi­tals to pre­pare for an in­crease in de­mand and told health staff to pre­pare to make daily vis­its or phone calls to the el­derly, ill and vul­ner­a­ble.

Hun­dreds more cold weather deaths are feared – af­ter 1,023 more deaths than av­er­age were recorded in the week tem­per­a­tures hit -5C in Jan­uary, Office of Na­tional Sta­tis­tics data showed.

Dr Thomas Waite, of Pub­lic Health Eng­land’s ex­treme events team, said: “Thou­sands die be­cause of ex­po­sure to cold weather.”

And Not­ting­hamshire pub­lic health direc­tor Bar­bara Brady said: “Deaths rise dra­mat­i­cally dur­ing cold weather.

“The ef­fects of cold can be se­vere.”

Mean­while Dr Angie Bone, of Pub­lic Health Eng­land’s ex­treme events team, said: “Keep your home heated to 18C, keep your­self warm by keep­ing ac­tive and wear­ing lots of thin lay­ers of cloth­ing, and don’t de­lay vis­it­ing the phar­ma­cist for mi­nor ail­ments.”

Met Office fore­caster Craig Snell ex­plained: “Tem­per­a­tures will start fall­ing, par­tic­u­larly so by Fri­day, with the snow risk in­creas­ing.”

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