Weather warning: Authorities say cold “might increase spread of respiratory viruses”

Portugal’s health board DGS has launched a warning over the effect of the plunging temperatures these coming days, saying that the cold “might increase the spread of respiratory viruses, such as the flu”.

Portugal’s Sea and Atmosphere Institute (IPMA) predicts that minimum temperatures will drop below zero in many areas of the country starting tomorrow (February 6), such as Guarda, Viseu, Vila Real, Castelo Branco and Portalegre.

Even in the Algarve, minimum temperatures are not expected to go over 4ºC.

The chilly weather is expected to continue throughout the coming weekend.

“The cold might have important consequences on people’s health, such as increasing the number of respiratory viruses circulating,” Graça Freitas from DGS told Lusa news agency.

“However, it’s not a catastrophe,” she said.

“It will just be colder than expected and we will all have to take special care for it not to affect us.”

Like always, children and elderly are the most “vulnerable” and should be watched over carefully during this bout of cold weather.

The Civil Protection Authority (ANPC) has also launched a weather warning, advising people to be wary of “icy and slippery roads” as well as the “inhalation of gas” from heaters and fireplaces.