Pregliasco: “Radiators at 19 degrees don’t hurt, but beware of the fragile ones”

“If you are cold you just need to dress a little heavier”

Radiators down a few degrees this winter, to limit gas consumption, with homes, offices and schools inevitably colder. “In the passage from 20 to 19 degrees the sensitivity is high, but the health risks are limited. Indeed, in reality, keeping one degree less at home not only saves money, but it is the perfect temperature. In general, no fear therefore in view of a tightening that appears necessary to cope with the cost of gas, which has skyrocketed “, reassures Fabrizio Pregliasco, scientific director of Osservatorio Influenza, associate professor of hygiene at the University of Milan and health director Irccs Galeazzi, in view of winter.

“If you are cold, you just need to dress a little heavier – he says – The only ones who could suffer from it in terms of health are fragile subjects, starting with the elderly. As we age, our thermoregulation system deteriorates : this is why many elderly people feel the cold more and can risk hypothermia without realizing it. It is therefore necessary to pay more attention to them – recommends the virologist – in the cold months “.

“The drop or increase in external temperature is in fact something that we immediately feel on our body. A decrease in temperatures has an effect above all on the cardiovascular system – explains Pregliasco – Our body reacts by increasing blood pressure and heart rate. . It has been shown that living regularly in an environment that is too cold has a negative effect on health and it is known that living in homes where the thermostat indicates too low values ​​contributes to causing an increase in disease and deaths during the winter. ”

To protect yourself from the most annoying consequences of cold and flu, here are some tips:

– If in the hours spent at home it happens to be colder than in the past, the advice is to dress in slightly heavier clothing. A sweatshirt or blanket, if you are on the sofa, will help you face the coldest days.

– It is also useful to pay attention to the power supply. The advice is always the same: drink at least 1.5 liters of water a day, consume five portions of fruit and vegetables and prefer seasonal foods, to which must be added the opportunity to put on the table hot foods and drinks that will help to manage better the drop in temperatures.

– In order not to make the air excessively dry, it is advisable to use humidifiers or place containers of water above the radiators. More than the temperature, what counts is the humidity of the home environment which should settle between 50% and 60%. The dry heat can in fact involve a greater risk of an infectious nature and hurt those suffering from chronic bronchitis.

– Pay particular attention to thermal changes that occur in the passage from inside to outside and vice versa.

Finally, the experts recommend, it is important to get the flu vaccine, taking into consideration, especially for those most at risk, also the possibility of having the Covid booster and the flu vaccine at the same time, because the fact of bringing them together can help get more antibodies and store more ammo to fight viruses. Continuing to wear the mask in closed spaces and washing your hands often remain useful measures to reduce the risk of contagion.