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Reason for the Dense Cold and weather in Nigeria (Aphelion Phenomenon): Ways to stay healthy

Due to some climatic changes, the earth has recently moved further away from the sun, its main source of warmth and energy.
Apart from causing the earth’s temperature to drop below normal with cold winds some times during the day and mostly at night in tropical countries
such as Nigeria, it has also caused the aphelion phenomenon, which is associated with health consequences.


According to experts, the aphelion phenomenon will continue until September, when the earth will return to its normal
elliptical orbit of 90,000 kilometers to the sun, along with flu, cough, and shortness of breath.

For the time being, health experts recommend boosting the immune system by taking lots of vitamins or supplements.


The phenomenon is not a regular occurrence, according to Dr. Oniyire Adetiloye, Country Director, Johns Hopkins
Programme for International Education in Gynecology and Obstetrics (JHPIEGO).
The sun is what gives humans energy, so the closer the earth is to the sun, the better.

Nigeria as well as countries within the same geographical belt will experience cold weather with the current situation.

To prevent colds during this period, Adetiloye said people should keep themselves warm,
while children should be properly dressed.

By keeping good hygiene, one can prevent respiratory illnesses like flu and other related health conditions.


Adetiloye noted that making the person breathe in deeply can help relieve breathlessness associated with colds.

Whenever a person is breathless, he or she should lie down,
put one’s hands on his or her abdomen, and take a deep breath through the nose, hold it for a few seconds, then slowly exhale it.
As a result, his/her abdomen expands, their lungs are filled with air, and they are also emptied.

“They can also try diaphragmatic breathing and other related health conditions that result from aphelion phenomenon.”

Anyone experiencing shortness of breath often should exercise several times a day or as often as
they experience it, adding that it is best to breathe slowly, easily, and deeply rather than quick.


Adenekan, Chairman of the Lagos State Chapter of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA),
advises anyone who gets a cold during this period to go to the hospital and use the right medications
because coughs associated with the aphelion
phenomenon are louder than normal coughs and come with a slight sensation of pain.

The natural way our body gets rid of foreign substances in our airways is by coughing.
However, avoiding common allergens, such as dust mites and pollen, among others, would be advisable to prevent it.
In order to prevent the accumulation of these irritants around the house, you should change your curtains and linens frequently.
You should also keep carpets, rugs, and stuffed toys clean.”

Sore throats, runny noses, coughs, sneezes, headaches, and body aches are some of the symptoms of a severe cold, according to the health expert.


Generally, people recover from a cold within seven to ten days, but those with weak immune systems, asthma or respiratory health conditions may develop serious illnesses such as bronchitis during this time.

To feel better during a common cold, Adenekan suggested getting lots of rest and drinking plenty of fluids, stressing that over-the-counter medicines may help ease symptoms, but will not cure your cold.

He, however, cautions that people should always read the literature of any medicine they are to use and follow medical directions. Parents should consult their doctor before giving their children nonprescription cold medicines, since some medicines contain ingredients which are not appropriate for children.


Dr. Olawale Oladuni, national treasurer of Healthcare Providers Association of Nigeria, advises people to exercise, eat well, and stay active physically and mentally.

According to Oladuni, anyone with a common cold or other health conditions caused by cold weather should stay at home until they recover.

The reason for this is to prevent the spread of the disease, adding that people should also be mindful of who they have close contact with while hugging, kissing, or shaking hands with those who are closest to them.

When coughing or sneezing in the open, move away from people or cough and sneeze into your upper shirt sleeve, completely covering your mouth and nose.

“Wash your hands after coughing, sneezing, and blowing your nose. Disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects like toys, doorknobs, and mobile devices. The common cold cannot be cured by a vaccine, so it is best to avoid it by staying away from those who are ill.”


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