People are always looking forward to summer. This is the season of sun, sand, parties and anything that would spell fun. The hot season is a perfect excuse to go out and refresh at the beach with family and friends. However, summer also brings with it a myriad of diseases that we need to be wary of. In order to maximize the fun of this season, we need to arm ourselves with the right information and precautions about these diseases.
Here are some of the identified diseases that you may encounter during the summer season and some tips on how to prevent them.
#1 Asthma Attacks
Asthma usually sets off by a reaction to pollen and to the change in climate. The condition causes a spasm in the bronchi of the lungs, causing difficulty in breathing. According to Dr. Adam Vella of the pediatric emergency medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, the smog, air pollution, high levels of pollen and increased mold growth due to humidity cause an increased tendency of an allergic reaction and hypersensitivity that usually triggers an asthma attack.
If you are prone to asthma, continue to be on track for pollen and air pollution. Always bring your asthma medications and emergency inhalers especially when you are out. When travelling, keep track of the nearest clinics and hospitals for any possible medical emergency that you may meet.
#2 Food Poisoning
According to CDC (Center for Disease Control), roughly 3000 Americans die from foodborne diseases every year. The warm summer weather is a perfect condition for the bacteria to multiply. Summer is always associated with outings and outdoor barbeques with food on the go. Improper cooking and handling of food add up to the risk of contamination.
To make summer a stomach-friendly season, store your food properly in tight containers and always be mindful of proper hand washing and general hygiene especially when handling food. It is also a good practice to choose foods that will not easily spoil or something that you can cook fresh when you arrive at your destination. Always bring anti-diarrheal medicines and oral rehydration salt especially when travelling.
#3 Heat Stroke
Can you imagine a disoriented person screaming and cursing after a very long run on a very hot day? People hit with heat stroke can’t remember their names or birth dates for a moment. This is a dangerous condition brought about by too much exposure to the sun. The body goes into severe hyperthermia or abnormally elevated body temperature with physical and behavioural symptoms.
It is essential to keep hydration in mind especially when you are doing outdoor activities. Urine color would also be a good indicator of your hydration level. Ideally, urine color is pale yellow and not dark yellow. Always start doing outdoor activities well hydrated and drink fluids within and after the outdoor activities.
#4 Sore Eyes
This is a viral infection that causes inflammation of the conjunctiva and the inner lining of the eyelid. Sore eyes may also be caused by bacteria or allergy and may manifest within 2-4 days. In some cases, it may persist up to 2 weeks.
It is particularly important to avoid cross contamination by frequent hand washing after touching your infected eyes. Thoroughly wash your personal belongings like towel and handkerchief.
Mumps is one of the most threatening viral diseases that usually occur in the summer. It can be transmitted easily when the infected person sneezes or coughs. Symptoms start with a fever, muscle aches, tiredness and loss of appetite followed by the swelling of the salivary glands.
It is important to avoid direct contact with the person infected with the virus until they regain full recovery. Vaccination with MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), may be particularly helpful in preventing the spread of the disease.
#6 Coughs and Colds
This disease duo is often mistaken to occur only during the rainy days. However, some individuals could easily catch a cough and cold during summer seasons and transmit to other individuals. Children are also particularly vulnerable to a cough and cold, so better keep their immune system pumped up.
It is advised to avoid drinking too much cold water to avoid irritating your throat. Drink at least 10 glasses of water each day and have enough rest and sleep.
This is an all too familiar condition that results from overexposure to ultraviolet radiation, usually from the sun. Common symptoms would be reddish hot skin, pain, mild dizziness and general fatigue.
It is advised to avoid too much sun exposure, wearing a wide-brimmed hat and especially some appropriate sun block when out of the house.
Summer is a season to enjoy the outdoors. Protect yourself by boosting your immune system, hydration, eating the right food and practice good hygiene. Taking some form of natural supplements may also be a good way to shield your family from the common diseases that will ruin your summer.
The Weather Channel. (2016). 7 Deadly Summer Diseases. [online] Available at: https://weather.com/health/news/deadly-summer-diseases-20130429#/1 [Accessed 18 May 2016].
Health, C. (2016). Top 5 summer diseases you should look out for. [online] Available at: http://www.thehealthsite.com/diseases-conditions/top-5-summer-diseases-you-should-look-out-for/ [Accessed 18 May 2016].
CNN. (2016). How to avoid summer's most common diseases. [online] Available at: http://cnnphilippines.com/lifestyle/2015/04/22/Summer-diseases.html [Accessed 18 May 2016].
Melissa Conrad StöKeppler, M. (2016). Heat Stroke: Symptoms, First Aid, and Prevention. [online] MedicineNet. Available at: http://www.medicinenet.com/heat_stroke/article.htm [Accessed 18 May 2016].
Top10For. (2014). Top 10 Most Common Summer Diseases to Avoid. [online] Available at: http://top10for.com/top-10-common-summer-diseases-avoid/ [Accessed 18 May 2016].
Rappler. (2016). Summer diseases: What you need to know. [online] Available at: http://www.rappler.com/life-and-style/wellness/54651-summer-diseases-prevention [Accessed 18 May 2016].
Wikipedia. (2016). Sunburn. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunburn [Accessed 18 May 2016].