DGS announces Contingency Plan against cold weather

Direção Geral de Saúde – DGS (Directorate general of health) announced that, from November 1 to end of March, the Contingency Plan for Adverse Extreme Temperatures will be in place.

This Plan contains guidelines to prepare and adjust health services and citizens response to the possible occurrence of adverse extreme cold weather conditions and potential increase in the incidence rate of respiratory infections.

Therefore, it contains information and measures for citizens and professionals on prevention, contention and control of cold weather consequences, so as to minimize the incidence of respiratory infections, namely flu, in population in general and risk groups in particular, such as children, elderly people and chronic patients.

Autumn and winter are the seasons with more frequent low temperatures and an increase of respiratory infections incidence, namely due to seasonal flu epidemics.

Protection against cold weather

Amongst the DGS recommendations of protection against cold weather, we emphasize:

  • Use multiple layers of clothing adequate to ambient temperature;
  • Protect body extremities (wear gloves, cap, warm stockings and scarf);
  • Consume hot drinks and foods;
  • Verify condition of heating equipment before use;
  • When using fireplaces, braziers, salamanders or gas heating equipment, keep spaces correctly ventilated, so as to avoid accumulation of gases prejudicial to health;
  • Don’t use outdoor heating equipment (patio heaters) indoor;
  • Before going to bed or leaving the house, make sure to extinguish or switch off all heating equipment, so as to avoid fire or intoxication;
  • Take special care with children and elderly people involved so as to avoid burnings.