New Year’s Eve WARNING: Watching fireworks in the cold could trigger DEADLY illnesses

New Year’s Eve will see millions around the UK head outside to enjoy fireworks welcoming in 2018.

But with temperatures set to dip below freezing in many parts of the country, the government has issued a health warning.

The elderly and vulnerable are being urged to take extra precautions tonight in order to avoid developing potentially-deadly illnesses from the cold.

Temperatures are predicted to dip to -7C in northern Britain, while snow is set to hit Scotland and northern England today.

The government stated: “There is a 90 per cent probability of severe cold weather, icy conditions and heavy snow which could increase the health risk of vulnerable patients and disrupt the delivery of services.”

Public Health England (PHE) also issued a statement: “Cold triggers thousands of illnesses and deaths across the UK every winter and the PHE is urging people to wrap up warm and take extra care when out and about.”

Their warnings come as the NHS has expressed fears in recent weeks that plummeting temperatures in December could trigger a rise in the number of people admitted to A&E.

They revealed that a 5C drop in temperature corresponds to a ten per cent rise in older people seeking medical attention.

The health service revealed an increased risk of heart attack and stroke from cold temperatures.

Icy conditions also place the elderly and vulnerable at risk of developing potentially-deadly flu.

The latest figures revealed that the so-called Aussie flu caused eight deaths in the UK so far this winter.

While flu can often be treated at home, the NHS recommend people should call 999 or go to A&E if they develop sudden chest pain, have difficulty breathing or start coughing up blood.

In recent weeks Asthma UK warned that those suffering from the respiratory condition were more likely to experience a flare-up.

There is also a higher risk of heart failure in frosty temperatures. 

A study published in September by the Universitié Laval, in Québec, Canada, found that the cold could trigger the condition in some people.

The researchers advised elderly people - who are at a higher risk - to avoid fog and low cloud in the winter months.