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Pneumonia, stroke patients on rise despite warmer conditions

November 12, 2019

There are few things more satisfying on a
hot summer day than going inside and flopping in front of the air conditioner to cool off.
But that comfort could be coming at a price. Our Kim Hyun-bin explains why.
Lee Jae-ho paid a visit to the doctor a couple of weeks ago because he had lost his appetite
and began to sweat more than he normally did, even while in cool places. “I had headaches, a fever and was coughing
a lot. I was in a bad state.” To his surprise, the doctor told him he had
pneumonia. Pneumonia typically occurs during winter months,
but can also strike in the summer. Data from a local hospital shows that the
number of patients diagnosed with the lung infection during the months of July and August
is nearly 70 percent of mid-winter figures. Doctors say that when summer heat reaches
its peak, the immune system can weaken. The frequent use of air conditioning can also
lead to respiratory problems,… due to a greater exposure to bacteria. “When it is humid like in monsoon season,
your lungs become weaker and cannot properly emit the germs that enter your body.” High temperatures can also raise the risk
of strokes. The number of stroke patients surpassed the
1-point-9 million mark in both July and August last year,… figures that are similar to
those seen in winter. This is because the stress caused by prolonged
exposure to heat can increase blood pressure,… which is bad news for sufferers of diabetes
and high blood pressure. “When you are exposed to the heat for a long
period of time, you can get dehydrated which can affect cerebral blood flow.” Doctors recommend drinking plenty of water
and to cut back on coffee and alcohol, which may cause dehydration.
Regular exercise and seven to eight hours sleep can also ensure that your immune system
remains strong during the dog days of summer. Kim Hyun-bin, Arirang News.

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