Typically when we think of seasonal illnesses, we think of conditions such as allergies, the cold and flu as they relate to winter, spring and fall months. However, it is important for us to remember certain illnesses are more likely to occur during the summer than at other times of the year.
Although the summer provides us with lots of sunshine and opportunities to enjoy recreational activities, warmer temperatures and elements of our environment can increase our risk of exposure to factors that affect our health.
Hot weather provides the perfect climate for bacteria to grow that causes food poisoning. Therefore, we have to be especially careful during summer months to make sure our food is stored and prepared correctly to avoid illness.
A favorite summer past time for many is swimming; however, the bodies of water in which we swim can serve as the perfect breeding ground for bacteria that causes recreational water illnesses (RWI) and can lead to gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea. We also have to be mindful of properly draining or drying our ears after swimming, as this can encourage bacteria to grow, potentially leading to an infection known as swimmer’s ear.
Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness that peaks during the summer months when we are more exposed to ticks in wooded or grassy areas. Therefore it is important to take the proper precautions to prevent tick bites while we are participating in outdoor activities such as hiking.
Coxsackie is a common summer virus that mostly affects children. The hand, foot and mouth disease is spread from person-to-person by saliva, blister fluid, feces and mucus. Outbreaks peak in the summer; however, you can control the spread of the virus by frequently washing hands and cleaning surfaces that children touch most often.
Summer heat and places of recreation can provide the perfect environment for illness-causing bacteria and viruses to flourish. Remember while soaking up the sunshine or lying by the lake to take the proper steps to reduce your chances of getting sick.
All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.