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COMMON SUMMER DISEASES

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Summer is here and with rising temperature, it’s not only the unbearable temperature that can harm you but also bring a host of diseases. In India, Summer is the warmest season in a year with March and June usually being the hottest weather. Heat is something that affects the whole body, including skin, eyes and gastric system. The scorching heat and unrelenting dryness bring with it a common summer disease if precautions are not taken. Here are some of the most common diseases in summer and tips to avoid them.

1.Heat stroke:

  • Heat stroke or hyperthermia is a common summer disease that results from prolonged exposure to high temperatures.
  • It is preceded by signs of heat exhaustion like headaches, dizziness and weakness and results in unconsciousness, organ failure and eventually death.
  • One tip for treating Hyperthermia is by outside cooling of the body with the help of water, cold air or ice packs. You can also do Internal cooling by flushing the stomach or rectum with cold may also be used.

2.Food poisoning:

  • One of the most common summer diseases is food poisoning which is caused by the consumption of contaminated food or water. The warm and humid weather provides a fertile environment for bacterial growth leading to food contamination.
  • It spreads by bacteria, viruses, toxins, and chemicals which post entering the human body cause the onset of stomach pain, nausea, diarrhoea or vomiting.
  • Raw meat, food sold in the open by roadside vendors and contaminated water are common carriers of disease-causing microbes.

3.Dehydration:

  • This is one of the most common problems that occur in summer when water intake does not compensate for water loss.
  • During summers, we tend to lose a lot of water and salts in the form of sweat without realizing. This needs to be replenished for the normal functioning of the body.

4.Mumps:

  • Another common disease in the summer is mumps. It is an extremely contagious viral disease. It is known to occur mainly in children during peak summer.
  • It can be transmitted when an infected person sneezes or coughs into neighbouring people.
  • It affects the parotid gland in front of the ears causing severe swelling, pain and fever.

5.Chicken Pox:

  • One of the most common summer disease. Common symptoms include scabs, blisters, itchy skin, redness, high-grade fever, loss of appetite, and headache.

6.Measles:

  • This common summer disease is a contagious respiratory infection caused by a virus. Its initial symptoms include high fever, cough, runny nose, sore throat and red eyes.
  • These symptoms later progress to measles rash, fever, cough, runny nose and tiny white spots within the mouth.
  • The rashes are seen around the hairline and face in most cases.

7.Typhoid:

  • It is a water-borne disease passed on through the orofecal route.
  • Its common symptoms include high fever, fatigue, weakness, abdominal pain, headache and loss of appetite.

8.Sunburn:

  • Sunburn is caused by ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun that damage your skin cells.
  • Overexposure to harmful ultra-violet radiation from the sun may lead to painful rashes on the skin.

9.Heat rashes:

  • It is a red or pink rash usually found on areas of the body that are covered with clothing.
  • It happens during hot humid conditions and is most common in children.
  • Heat rash develops when sweat ducts become blocked and swell up, looking like dots or tiny pimples on the skin. It often causes discomfort and itching.

10.Other waterborne diseases:

  • A few other common summer diseases include diarrhoea, dysentery, cholera and are the most common water-borne diseases.

A few tips to avoid common summer diseases?

  • Drink plenty of water and increase fluid intakes like coconut water, buttermilk and lemon water, both at home and while travelling to keep yourself hydrated. Ensure you have at least 10-12 glasses of water all day.
  • Wear loose-fitting, light coloured clothes as dark coloured clothes absorb more heat and tight clothes do not let your body sweat. Opt for light and absorbent materials like cotton.
  • While travelling or during outdoor activities, avoid heavy exercise. Seek shade and rest.
  • Never sit in a car exposed to the hot sun and try to find park your vehicle under the shade.
  • Apply ice packs and pain relievers for comfort if having sunburns caused due to sun rays.
  • Wash your hands properly and follow general hygiene rules while handling food. Wash your hands before touching or cooking any food items to prevent food and water-borne infections.
  • Wash your hands every time you visit the washroom.
  • Do not eat undercooked and street food and avoid eating outside. Try to eat fresh fruits and vegetables like watermelon, cucumber, sugarcane and mangoes.
  • Keep windows closed during the sunny hours like afternoon so that the heat does not get trapped indoors.
  • To avoid sore eyes and further spread of infection, clean your hands properly, wash and lubricate your eyes with clean water to ease soreness.
  • Vaccination with MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) is helpful against infectious diseases. If you or your child are not vaccinated against these 3 infections, vaccinations should be acquired at the earliest.
  • Apply mosquito repellent and avoid mosquito breeding places.
  • Keep your skin covered and protected by applying sunscreen with at least 15 SPF.
  • Common summer diseases occur during the day time to avoid too much exposure to the sun, especially from noon to around 3 pm, when the sun’s rays are directly perpendicular.
  • While travelling or for outdoor activities protect yourself from sun heat by wearing a cap along with sunglasses. Hat and sunglasses will prevent harmful ultraviolet rays from hitting the sensitive areas on your face and will keep your face fresh and wrinkle-free.

Follow these tips to avoid common summer diseases and enaure you have a fruitful and carefree summer!

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