The condition is called cold urticaria, and it manifests itself as a chronic reactive skin disorder.
While it is unknown how many people are affected by the allergy, the rare condition can cause hives, swelling, and, in severe instances, anaphylactic shock.
Six-year-old Jacob Russell of Brampton, Ontario, has been living with the condition since March of 2012.Jake's parents, Jeremy and Jenny, noticed that Jake's feet had begun turning purple, and he would break out in hives on his short walk home from school."We rushed him to the hospital a couple of times after he got home or when we noticed his purple hands and feet from being in the basement, but by the time we got to the hospital he had warmed up and no one would be able to give us an answer," Jeremy said.Omurbek killed six snow leopards during the economic turmoil of the 1990s.“My father would warn me that killing wildlife would never bring happiness,” he said, recalling how uneasy he felt about poaching.“But it was necessary to feed my family.” Understanding that poaching and environmental degradation are driven by poverty and lack of economic opportunities, WWF and other partners sought to transform people like Omurbek from threats to advocates, first by raising awareness, and then by providing them with constructive alternatives.
For example, WWF recently set up development funds that provide microcredit loans for sustainable livelihood enterprises, but to be eligible for a loan, residents must actively participate in wildlife conservation activities.We finally got into an allergist in May 2012 to get a 'formal' diagnosis," he said.For Jake, temperatures under 50 degrees F ignite a reaction, and so can even higher temperatures when wind is present."It used to really affect our life, because no one at the school understood this issue, and Jenny would be at the school during recess to make sure he was safe," Jeremy said.The rare condition is most often treated with a cocktail of antihistamines and an epi-pen for emergency usage, but, for many, a diagnosis does not come quickly."It was Jenny's research that discovered what Jake had through relentless reading online.We printed it all off and took it to our family doctor to see if we were right.By then, the government had already established the Sarychat-Ertash Nature Reserve, opening new career paths in conservation for local residents.