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Winter arrives early

Thursday June 11, 2020 Written by Published in Weather
Ross Buchanan and his son Ethan, 4, arrive in the morning well wrapped up at Te Uki Ou preschool. 20060903 Ross Buchanan and his son Ethan, 4, arrive in the morning well wrapped up at Te Uki Ou preschool. 20060903

Cool season is here and experts are warning of a potential spike in cold, flu and asthma.

Parents were wrapping up their children well for the morning school drop-offs.

Ross Buchanan and his 4-year-old son Ethan were in big puffer jackets for their motorbike ride to Te Uki Ou preschool.

Buchanan said it was important to keep warm, to avoid cold-related flus. “It gets bit chilly in the morning so it’s important to have that extra layer to keep warm especially when you are on the bike,” Buchanan said.

Temperatures dropped to 16.9 degrees Celsius earlier this week, and Met Office director Arona Ngari warns it will get chillier in the coming weeks.

The cooler season runs from June to September but Ngari said this year they were experiencing sharp drops in mercury earlier into the season.

The lowest temperature Cook Islands has experienced is 13C.

“The absence of clouds during the day would mean a perfect day during these cooler months,” Ngari said.

“But that becomes a dilemma in the evenings because absence of cloud means there is nothing to hold onto that heat from the land, leaving us humans to battle with cold air.

“People need to keep themselves warm during this time, especially in the evenings.”

A health expert says such weather can cause cold flus and asthma exacerbations.

Dr Nini Wynn of Rarotonga Medical Centre said common cold could be caused by a variety of viruses and usually spread by someone coughing or sneezing without covering their mouth.

“In order to reduce the risk of getting cold flu, avoid close contact with someone who is having a cold. Also do not touch nose or mouth and wash your hands after coughing or getting in contact with someone who has flu,” Wynn said.

“If you are sick, stay home to prevent spreading flu to other people.”