HENRICO (WRIC) - With temperatures expected to be the coldest they've been in 20 years, doctors say it won't take long for the cold to have an effect on the body. If you're older, have asthma, diabetes, emphysema or other illnesses you may not even want to venture outside.
"People with chronic medical problems who are probably at the greatest risk probably ought to just stay inside," says Dr. Jeffry Reihl of West Creek Emergency Center
It could take just a few minutes to start experiencing frost bite or hypothermia, a dropping of the body's core temperature, or up to an hour if you're young and healthy.
"What people don't realize is that it doesn't necessarily have to be freezing but exposure to cold even at moderate cold temperatures for an extended period of time can lead to extreme frost bite and loss of fingers, hands," he says.
There are some people that simply can't avoid standing or even working in the freezing temperatures.
Cheena Hicks who operates Christie's Kitchen food cart says she still plans on working outside.
"People got to eat and also I'm in an enclosed environment, so I won't be as cold," she says.
Hicks doesn't believe the cold will affect her or stop her customers and says she's just going to bundle up - advice doctors say everyone should follow if they decide to go outside, even if it's just for lunch.
Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond
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