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Summer Illnesses to Watch Out For

  • September 6, 2017
  • RPh on the Go

Plenty of illnesses are associated with specific seasons. Although you can technically have the flu at any time of the year, winter is when it flourishes and is passed around heavily. Summer time may be associated with outdoor fun, beaches, swimming, and barbecues but it also hosts its own illnesses to keep an eye out for. Read on for a few things to watch out for this year!

Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

Hand, foot, and mouth disease is a popular illness amongst young children. It is a viral disease that is easily spread from sneezing, coughing, and touching someone who is carrying the illness. Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Blisters on the inside of the mouth
  • A rash, sometimes resulting in blistering, that is on the hands, feet, and buttocks
  • Loss of appetite
  • Irritability

The incubation period for this illness is typically 3-6 days, and recovery usually takes a week. There really isn’t much in the way of treatment, so most parents use topical creams for their child’s rash and acetaminophen for the fever and discomfort. A visit to the pediatrician is warranted, since they keep track of these illnesses and can warn other families. Stopping the spread of it will ensure a child won’t get it again.

Watch the Bug Bites

Bug bites are really common in the summer and for many, they are minor annoyances. When it comes to mosquito bites and ticks, it does pay to pay close attention to your health. Due to a warm winter, we are seeing a large rise in ticks across the country. Ticks carry Lyme disease, and we are more likely to see a rise in infections. Mosquitos carry West Nile and Zika Virus, both of which have no known cure. The ultimate goal is to avoid getting bit by using repellents, avoiding standing water on your property, and limiting activities outdoors. If a bite grows or shows bruising, people should seek out medical attention. Other symptoms of either disease include:

  • Fever
  • Lethargy
  • Headaches
  • Body aches
  • Bloodshot eyes (Zika Virus)
  • Rash (Zika Virus)

West Nile is carried by at least 65 species of mosquito, making contracting West Nile in the US quite easy. The good news is that Zika Virus is only carried by two species, which drastically lowers the chances of contracting it.

Learning about outbreaks and notifying the patients is an excellent way to alert them and help them maintain their health. While Hand, Foot, and Mouth may affect children, there is a possibility for an elderly adult to contract it as well. Anyone whose health is already compromised will fall prey to these illnesses quicker than someone who is in a healthier state. It’s truly our duty as pharmacists to empower and educate the masses.

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