Common occurring diseases this summer:
As the summer season advances, diseases like diarrhea, dysentery, cholera, jaundice and typhoid are on the rise as the conditions are optimum for the virus and bacterial growth.
Diseases in Summer:
There are a varied variety of viruses, bacteria and fungal infections that create havoc in summer season. Polio, an entero-virus, is considered to be the most notorious illness caused by a summer-time virus. In the earlier days, people feared this virus to such an extent that often people refused to let their children go outside and mingle with other children. Children who are infected will have a mild sore throat and fever, and then within a few days, could develop meningitis and/or paralysis. Thanks to the advancements in medicine because of routine immunizations, polio is close to being eradicated in most parts of the world.
There are also other entero-viruses which can cause illnesses, such as group A and B Coxsackie’s-viruses, echo-viruses and entero-viruses. These viruses generally cause mild respiratory and gastrointestinal illnesses such as cough, running nose, diarrhea and vomiting, but they can also cause more severe infections, such as aseptic meningitis, encephalitis and myocarditis. Other common illnesses that are caused by non polio entero-viruses include Hand, Foot and Mouth disease, caused by the Coxsackie A16 and entero-virus 71 viruses. Children with Hand, Foot and Mouth disease can have blisters or ulcers in their mouth and on their hands and feet. Or, they can have ulcers just in their mouth, which is called herpangina.
Another common summertime virus is the para-influenza virus 3. This virus can cause croup, bronchiolitis, pneumonia or just a cold. Croup is a group of respiratory diseases that often affect infants and children under age of six. It is characterized by a barking cough; a whistling, obstructive sound (stridor) as the child breathes in; and hoarseness due to obstruction in the region of the larynx. It may be mild, moderate or severe, and severe cases, with breathing difficulty, makes this virus easy to identify in the summertime. Overall, though, croup is more common in the winter, it can be fatal if not treated properly in a hospital.
Adenoviral infections are also more common in the winter, but they can also occur in the early summer. Symptoms can include fever, sore throat and other upper respiratory tract infections. Adenovirus can also cause pharyngoconjunctival fever, with a sore throat, fever and red eyes without discharge or matting.
Though there are varied effects of summer heat, it mainly affects the skin. Hence, skin care is also very important in summer. Suffocation will be high in summer resulting in the oozing of fluids from the skin. It will be profoundly seen in the people with acne. There are more chances of skin problems to occur in this season. The commonly seen skin problems in this season are Skin bubbles, Pimples (acne), Rosacea, Tanning or sun burns, infections, pre-cancerous or cancerous diseases.
How to Prevent Summer Time Infections:
Most of the summer time infections spread from fecal-oral and respiratory routes from other infected individuals. Simple hand washing and avoiding sharing food or drinks with others, especially sick children, can greatly help reduce your chances of getting sick.
Mosquito and tick-borne infections can be avoided by preventing ticks or mosquito bites. In high risk areas for Lyme disease, one should wear long sleeve shirts and long pants with high socks and boots and use a tick repellent on shoes and socks. Also, check your body for ticks at least once or twice a day, especially if you have been camping or playing in tick infested areas (grassy, brushy or wooden areas).
An insect repellent with Deet, citronella, or soybean oil can help to prevent mosquito bites. Wear light-colored clothing and avoid using any scented soaps or other products on your baby, since the fragrances can attract insects. Avoid areas with insect nests.
Food poisoning can be prevented by frequently washing your hands and cooking surfaces, not allowing foods and utensils to become cross contaminated, cooking foods to their proper temperature, and promptly refrigerating leftovers.
Skin bubbles: This problem is profoundly seen in children. They are seen on the back and chest. Though they are not so dangerous, they cause immense pain. Small precautions like bathing daily and keeping the skin dry can prevent the problem.
Pimples: Though there are less chances of getting acne problem in this season, people with acne beforehand will have more effect in this season. Hence, people with acne should compulsorily use anti- acne soaps, face washes and others.
Rosacea: Reddening of the skin is the symptom of Rosacea. Since there will more blood circulation in nose tip, cheeks, forehead parts, they are seen more in red color. Actually there is no perfect cure to eradicate this problem completely. But, it can be avoided by preventing its causative factors. It is seen more in people who take more alcohol, hot coffee and tea and more spicy food. This problem can be prevented by checking the above habits. Even if the problem persists, it is better to consult a dermatologist.
Tanning: It is common to notice that some people, after returning home from the heat, will seem dark in color. This change of color or tanning will be of two types:
Immediate skin tanning- As soon as the person gets under summer heat, the coloration of the body will change. This color change will be present from seconds to even 36 hours.
Delayed skin tanning- Skin will turn into dark color after 48-72 hours of exposure to summer heat. This kind of color changed skin will come to normal after some weeks to even some months.
Sunburns: Some times the skin show cracks and thereby marks when exposed to summer heat. They are termed as sunburns. Generally, this problem is more witnessed in fair people. Sunburns effected people will have red color marks on the face.
Infections: Fungal infections will be on rise at the time of more intensity of summer heat. Pitiriasi versicolor, Taenia infections, candidal infections are more common in this season.
Pre-cancerous and cancerous diseases: Skin will appear as dead cells by losing vigor and looks as over aged (pre mature aging) when exposed to intense summer heat for prolonged periods. This kind of prolonged exposure to intense heat may cause skin cancers.
There are many types in these cancers. Basal cell carcinoma, cutaneous malignant melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma and others are common ones. The best solutions to prevent these diseases are avoiding prolonged exposure to the summer heat.
Prevention of Summer Infections and Diseases:
- All body parts should be kept clean and dry as much as possible.
- Especially the folded parts of the body like feet and fingers, under arms, between legs should be kept clean and dry.
- Loose cotton clothes should be worn. Undergarments and socks should be clean and comfortable.
- Anti perspirants should be used to avoid bad odor due to sweat.
- Mosquito and tick-borne infections can be avoided by preventing yourself from getting bitten by ticks or mosquitoes. Using an insect repellent with Deet, citronella, or soybean oil can help to prevent mosquito bites.
- Wearing light-colored clothing and avoiding scented soaps or other products on babies, since the fragrances can attract insects. Avoid areas with insect nests.
- Food poisoning can be prevented by frequently washing your hands and cooking surfaces, not allowing foods and utensils to become cross contaminated, cooking foods to their proper temperature, and promptly refrigerating leftovers.
Prevention is always better than cure. Hence, take the necessary precautions and keep diseases at bay.