- A 34-year-old man with a cold allergy almost died after stepping out of the shower.
- The man needs immediate medical attention and is admitted to the ICU hospital, where he is injected with adrenaline and other drugs to improve his condition.
- Cold allergies are infrequent, and they can be as life-threatening as other common allergies. The man was given an automatic adrenaline injection machine in case he was attacked in the future.
The new coronavirus is out of control in the northern hemisphere, with winter apparently fueling new surges. Viruses survive better at lower temperatures, and the cold is also a good incentive for people to gather in the house. And COVID-19 spreads very effectively indoors, especially at home, where people are more likely to take off their masks and bypass social distancing.
But COVID-19 is just one of the heat-related problems that a man who has been the subject of a recent study has to worry about. This person has an extremely rare, life-threatening condition: an allergy to cold temperatures.
Allergies are fairly common, and come in different forms and severity. Hay fever manifests itself as a cold and is especially frightening during a pandemic of coronavirus, as it is accompanied by congestion, runny nose and even conjunctivitis-like symptoms. Food allergies and allergies to specific drugs are also common and can be serious.
But a cold allergy is not something you will often hear. A 34-year-old man suffers from an illness – called anaphylaxis – and he discovers how dangerous it can be after he steps out of a hot shower and encounters cold air.
He fell into anaphylactic shock, requiring immediate medical attention. According to a report in Journal of Emergency Medicine, The man developed cold urticaria (rash) and anaphylaxis and was taken to the emergency room. His family found him on the bathroom floor because the man had collapsed.
His symptoms included hypotension and difficulty breathing, and he required two doses of adrenaline. Then he started using drip adrenaline. Doctors also injected antihistamines and steroids at the hospital, and the man had an automatic adrenaline injection machine in case it recurred.
The man’s family was aware of his condition, they told the medical staff arriving at the scene that he had a cold allergy. He discovered the problem after moving from Micronesia to Colorado. But until the shower, the only cold allergy symptom he experienced was urticaria. Doctors used an ice test to confirm the diagnosis.
In her study, doctors warned that anaphylaxis is a life-threatening phenomenon and that health care providers should pay attention to it. This may explain “sudden and uncompensated decompensation in critically ill patients, as has been reported in cases of cold IV infusion anaphylaxis.”