How long does it take for hypothermia to set in? What temp?

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Hypothermia can take seconds or hours to set in, depending on the environmental situation. A person immersed in very cold water (below 40-degrees f), with blowing wind and without an exposure suit will start showing signs of hypothermia within seconds, may become unconscious within two or three minutes, and if they don't drown first, then die within another few minutes. The colder, wetter & windier it is, the more danger of hypothermia. Any temperatures below body temperature has the potential to cause hypothermia, though it is usually only a concern with outside temperatures of lower than about 60 degrees f. Being wet or in windy conditions heightens the risk. The most common victims of hypothermia in the U.S. are persons engaged in outdoor activities (Hunting, Hiking, Rafting, Surfing, etc) who do not have adequate clothing for the weather conditions or water temperatures. A secondary group of persons-at-risk are the elderly and small children in unheated buildings/apartments ... more
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