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Air Conditioners, Fountains Cause Illness, Chief Doctor Says

These bathers run the risk of catching all sorts of illnesses, according to Onishchenko. Vladimir Filonov

Chief sanitary doctor Gennady Onishchenko on Monday urged Russians not to sleep in air-conditioned rooms, swim in public fountains or drink to excess in the summer months.

Air conditioners should be used sparingly, Onishchenko said, since "they provoke an imbalance in the body's adaptive powers," according to RIA-Novosti.

"People who sleep at night with air conditioners turned on end up suffering from illnesses," he continued.

The sanitary official also targeted bathing in public fountains, a common sight on hot summer days in the capital's parks and central squares.

"It's not clear who's been bathing in these fountains. For this reason, there is a danger of getting infected with all sorts of illnesses, ranging from intestinal infections to fungal diseases and tuberculosis," Onishchenko said.

Responding to the ban on selling beer after midnight, which comes into force July 1, Onishchenko was full of praise.

"[This measure] will give our society many sober evening hours, which people can spend with their families, with friends and not in a drunken stupor," he said, suggesting tea as a healthy alternative to beer.

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