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Low temps prompt health warnings

Thursday - 1/24/2013, 12:49pm  ET

Nick Iannelli, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - The bone-chilling temperatures that have lingered in the air over the past week are expected to continue in the coming days and health officials are warning everyone to stay alert and remain vigilant to ward off potential health dangers.

"My recommendation to everybody is actually stay indoors and stay warm," warns Dr. Michael Kerr with MedStar Montgomery Medical Center.

According to the CDC, "cold stress" can lead to a slew of ailments including frostbite.

Frostbite may cause symptoms such as discoloration of the skin, pain and a firm, waxy texture.

"The pain goes away and it becomes very numb," says Kerr. "People don't even realize that it's becoming worse."

A more serious illness, hypothermia, can slow your pulse and lead to disorientation or even unconsciousness.

"Dress in many layers to actually keep your core body temperature insulated. Cover up every single thing that you can," Kerr says.

Anyone who experiences any warning signs should seek shelter and contact a physician.

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(Copyright 2013 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

Tags: cdcfrostbite