BAGUIO CITY – Temperature in the country’s started to drop over the past several days after recording the coldest so far this year at 11 degrees Celsius Monday morning from the 11.5 degrees Celsius early Sunday morning.
Wilson Locando, a weather specialist for the local office of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), said the cold spell in the city and other highly elevated areas in Benguet and Mountain Province will extend up to early March and the temperature is expected to further drop in the coming days following the prevalence of the enhanced northeast monsoon.
The city’s temperature started to drop to 13 degrees Celsius at the sart of the year from the usual 15 to 16 degrees Celsius morning temperature before drastically dropping to the 11 degrees Celsius recorded by weathermen early Monday morning.
Locando revealed the cold spell in the city usually prevails from November to March every year but the coldest days happen during the months of January and February when the enhanced northeast monsoon is at its peak.
With the sudden drop in the city’s temperature, health authorities urged the public to prepare themselves for the expected resurgence of cold weather illnesses.
Dr. Lakshmi Legaspi, regional director of the Cordillera office of the Department of Health (DOH-CAR), said with the expected continuous drop in temperatures since the start of the year, residents and visitors must make sure they protect themselves from respiratory illness, dengue, chikungunya, and zika, as well as food and water-borne illnesses by keeping themselves healthy through strengthening their immune system.
For her part, Dr. Rowena Galpo, City Health Services Officer, reminded the residents and visitors to keep themselves warm at all times by wearing thick clothes to combat the serious negative effects of the cold to their health, especially with the expected drop in the city’s temperature.
Galpo noted that during this time of the year, respiratory cases surge because of the unpredictable weather condition.
The common respiratory illnesses that usually affect the public include cough and colds, pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma, among others.
The lowest temperature recorded in the city by PAGASA is the 6.3 degrees Celsius on January 18, 1961, while the fifth lowest temperature in the city is the 7.5 degrees Celsius recorded on January 15, 2009.
Galpo expressed confidence that with the regular chilly weather from November to February every year, people know how to protect themselves from the serious negative effects of the cold to their health.
She added the public must also brace for the expected increase in influenza-like illnesses that maybe dengue fever considering that dengue is now a year-round illness that is triggered anytime the immune system is not strong enough to combat the virus.
She appealed to the people to immediately seek early medical attention once they contract whatever kind of illnesses for proper diagnosis by the health personnel in the different health facilities not only in the city but also regionwide.
By Dexter A. See