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Health Commissioner: Frostbite risk is high in this weather

Jan 4, 2018

Dangerously cold wind chills are forecast for the region
Credit monroecounty.gov

Health officials are urging people take precautions as some dangerously cold wind chills in the 20 to 25 below zero range are in the forecast for tonight and Friday.

Monroe County Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza says people can get frostbite in just a few minutes in weather like this.

"It's really about how long you're out there and how cold the wind chill is.  And anytime you have exposed skin, certainly that puts that part of the body at more risk. So in really cold instances, you can be out as little as ten minutes and get frostbitten. So in that instance, you want to cover every part of your body that you can," he says. 

Mendoza says, unfortunately with frostbite, you can't always feel it. 

Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza talks about frostbite with reporters at the County Health Department this week.
Credit Alex Crichton

"Frostbite is tough, sometimes you don't know it until sometimes it's too late. But if you're feeling cold, first that's a good sign because you can still feel your fingers and your toes and your nose.  So that's the sign, once you feel numbness and tingling, you want to get inside as fast as you can," he says.

Mendoza says people should plan ahead, look at the temperatures before you go outside, and just assume you may be at risk for frostbite in this kind of weather.