COLUMBIA, Mo. - As mid-Missouri continues to deal with sub-freezing temperatures, shelters in Columbia are at capacity. With nowhere to go, some people may be left in the cold, posing serious dangerous to their health.
The first and most common sign of cold weather danger for your body is frostnip. Frostnip is fairly common and does not cause any permanent damage. Signs include redness and slight numbness. Frostnip typically affects fingers, toes, your nose or ears.
After frostnip comes frostbite. Frostbite signs include your skin color changing from red with the frostnip to pale or white. According to the Mayo Clinic, frostbite mostly affects exposed skin and extremities like fingers and ears, but it can also affect skin covered by gloves or other clothes.
The most dangerous condition cold weather can cause is hypothermia. Hypothermia happens when a person has extended exposure to cold weather. A person can develop this when their core body temperature drops from 98.6 to below 95 degrees. When a person's body temperature drops, their heart, nervous system and other organs cannot work normally. If left untreated, hypothermia can eventually lead to heart failure and death.
ABC 17 News has been checking with local hospitals to see if they have received any patients with cold weather-related injuries. We will update you as we hear back.