Common summertime illnesses and how to prevent them
Many people associate viruses and sickness with cold weather, but there are still common illnesses that can affect you in the summer. The most common summertime viruses are enteroviruses (stomach bugs) and parainfluenza (respiratory bugs). It’s also possible to catch a rhinovirus (common cold) in the summer, so be sure to always wash your hands.
Other common summertime illnesses stem from spending time outdoors and the foods we consume, or they are due to traveling. You and your loved ones should be aware of the things that can make you sick and know what treatment options are available.
Mosquitos and ticks
With the warmer weather comes more outdoor activities. Mosquito bites can lead to West Nile virus, Saint Louis encephalitis and dengue fever. The Zika virus can be caused by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. Tick-borne illnesses include Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and ehrlichiosis. Be sure to use an insect repellant with Deet, citronella or soybean oil to prevent mosquito bites and remember to check your children for ticks after they play outdoors.
Bacteria thrive in warm, moist environments, making food poisoning, also called foodborne illness, most common in the summer. Young children are most at risk for food poisoning because their immune systems haven’t yet fully developed. Be selective with what you and your children eat at parties, picnics and backyard BBQs, and be sure that what you eat is chilled or heated thoroughly.
Keep in mind when you’re traveling this summer that different parts of the world are in different seasons where infections may be more likely to occur. In some countries, tap water isn’t safe to drink, even when used for brushing teeth. You can disinfect tap water by boiling, filtering or chemically treating it – or stick to bottled water. Do your research before traveling and make sure you have the necessary vaccinations to stay healthy on your vacation.
If you live in an area that has a large number of tourists, they can bring infections to you. Frequently wash your hands and avoid sharing food or drinks with other people.
The medical experts at Velocity Care Urgent Treatment Center want to be sure that you and your family members stay safe and healthy this summer. If you or someone you love isn’t feeling well, visit a local walk-in clinic to receive the tests and treatment you need to start feeling better.
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