Summer Illnesses – Knowing How to React

Summer Illnesses – Knowing How to React

Summer is fast approaching, and with it a number of illnesses, diseases, and infections that come with the season. It is important for your health and the health of your family that you be familiar with these, and to know how to react to them.

Infections during the Summer Months

While most of us associate infections to be a cold-weather thing, this is not true at all. While colds and the flu may be quite prevalent in winter, there are a number of dangers associated with the warmer months as well, especially if you live in the South, or a warm, muggy climate. Some of the most common include:

A� Enteroviruses, such as stomach viruses. As with many infections, these are particularly dangerous to the very young and the very old.

A� Parainfluenza. These respiratory infections can be very dangerous to young children. They are one of the most common causes of respiratory problems in the very young. Fortunately, they are neutralized through careful hand washing.

A� Rhinoviruses, such as the cold. While these are indeed more common during the winter months, they are still quite common during the summer, and can linger.

Many viruses can be prevented through careful and frequent hand washing. Proper hygiene is incredibly important to preventing illness.

Animal-borne Viruses

Many of the viruses most commonly associated with the summer actually stem from animal carriers. Mosquitoes are particularly known for the diseases they carry. Some of the most common are:

A� West Nile virus. The West Nile virus is typified by symptoms such as fever, chills, headache, and fatigue. If untreated, West Nile encephalitis can be fatal. However, timely medical treatment can prevent 95% of fatalities.

A� St. Louis Encephalitis. Much like West Nile, it is characterized by fatigue, headache, and fever. There are only a few hundred cases reported in the United States annually, and these can be effectively treated if caught early.

Ticks are also bearers of disease. Some of the more common include:

A� Lyme Disease. Typified by fever, headache, depression, and a characteristic rash, it can be disabling if not treated soon. This is particularly common in the Northeast.

A� Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. A typhus-like disease typified by a body rash, it can be fatal if not treated early.