Summer is here, and, along with the soaring temperatures, a large variety of diseases can put a damper on your plans. Some of you may still not have encountered some of these diseases, but it is most likely that it can affect us however careful we are. Explained below are some of the most common diseases that are likely to affect you during this summer.
Heat stroke : It is by far the most serious and common summer hazard. Often known as sunstroke, or hyperpyrexia, it is manifested by extremely high body temperatures (generally greater than 104 degree F), and short and rapid breathing, fainting, dry skin, etc. Heat stroke might lead to serious complications and the victim will die if not treated in time.
Cataract : Overexposure to ultraviolet light can cause cataracts, retinal damage and other eye problems. Eye infections like styes, bacterial and viral conjunctivitis are also seen with increased frequency in this season.
Skin cancer : Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiations is the main cause of skin cancer. These UV rays can also cause sunburn, tanning, premature skin aging and a decrease in immune system response. People who spent lots of time in the sun or have fair skin/hair or are over 50 years of age, are more at risk of getting skin cancer.
Chicken pox : The chicken pox is seen right at the onset of summers. It manifests as itchy red rash like spots or boils all over the body, usually in children. Caused by the Varicella zoster virus and spread by air-borne particles, the disease spreads when an already infected person sneezes or coughs. Another mode of transmission is if a caregiver touches the blisters or the fluid oozing out of it. A vaccine is available to protect yourself against this virus. Even so, some simple precautions like washing your hands thoroughly after visiting a common or crowded place and isolating a person suffering from the disease to prevent its spread can be done.
Jaundice : Also called Hepatitis A, it is a waterborne disease caused mainly by contaminated water supplies and food cooked in unclean places. The initial symptoms of jaundice include yellow discolouration of the skin, mucous membranes and the whites of the eyes, light-coloured stools, darkcoloured urine, and itching of the skin. A vaccine is available, but to protect yourself better, you should avoid eating food made in unhygienic places. Drink only filtered or double-boiled water.
(Read more on the summer diseases from the April issue of the Safety Messenger Magazine 2015)