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Information from TN Dept of Health about the Ongoing Novel Coronavirus Outbreak

Cold Weather Related Illness

Interactive cold weather related illness data dashboard

To learn more about cold weather related illness data from 2000 to 2013 in Tennessee, click the link below. Our interactive data dashboard will visualize the data you select. Choose data from different options like:

  • Rate by county
  • Rate by year
  • Rate by race
  • Rate by age group

What is cold weather related illness?

If cold exposure exceeds the body’s ability to warm and core body temperature falls, a range of cold-related symptoms and conditions can develop.  The most common cold-related illness is hypothermia. Cold-related symptoms range from shivering to fatigue.  These symptoms are important warning signs as cold stress can lead to harmful endpoints like disorientation, unconsciousness or death.  Frostbite occurs when a part of body freezes causing loss of feeling.  Frostbite most often affects the nose, ears, checks, chin, fingers or toes.  Tissue damage from frostbite can be permanent.

Why is tracking cold weather related illness important?

Any individual regardless of age, sex or health status can develop cold weather related illness if exposed to prolonged cold.  People most likely to be exposed to dangerous cold include those who lack shelter, work outdoors or live in homes with or inadequate heat.  Seniors, infants, people with chronic cardiovascular or lung conditions, people using alcohol or drugs, and people with cognitive impairments or mental health conditions are at increased risk.

About our cold weather related illness data

This indicator estimates the number and rate of hospitalization and emergency department visits for cold stress. It includes all cases where cold stress is listed as a primary or other diagnosis. These data come from hospital records and may not capture the full range of cold weather related illness if exposure to excess cold is not explicitly documented. These data can be used to document changes over place and time, monitor vulnerable areas and populations and evaluate the results of local climate-adaptation strategies.

Our cold weather related illness data come from emergency department visits and hospitalizations. cold weather related illness data include:

  • Health outcome (cold stress)
  • State and county of residence
  • Year of hospitalization or emergency department visit

Our cold weather related illness data do not include:

  • Out-of-state residents whose illness occurred in Tennessee
  • Tennessee residents whose illness occurred out-of-state

Additional resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
Cold Stress - Cold Related Illness